DSE212 Part One Definitions

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  • Created by: Emilina29
  • Created on: 01-05-15 15:21

Self- Actualisation

Originally created by Goldstein and later used by Maslow, self- actualisation refers to our human desire to become everything we possibly can be. This can be shown through, for example, creativity or through discovery and understanding

Personal Constructs

Personal constructs is a term used by Kelly in personal construct theory. It refers to the bi- polar discriminations underlying the ways in which a person makes sense in his or her world

Oedipal Conflict

Oedipal conflict is a Freudian concept that arises in the phallic stage, the Freudian stage of psychosexual development where the focus is on genitals and pleasure from genital stimulation. It happens when a boy unconsciously sees his father as a rival for his mother’s affection

Levels of Processing

Originally created by Craik and Lockhart and used in the levels of processing theory, there are three levels of encoding which are used when processing memories. The deepest, semantic, uses the meaning of the memory, the deeper is when visual characteristics are used  and the shallow level is by using the physical characteristics. 

Encoding Specificity Principle

Encoding specificity principle was presented by Tulving. In terms of memory, it is the notion that retrieval of information from memory depends on an overlap or matching of cues that is available at retrieval with those registered at encoding

Autobiographical Memories

Autobiographical memories are episodes remembered from our own life. Conway says that these memories include information on the time and location of the memory, also known as spatiotemporal knowledge. They also include factual information such as “this is my first…”. These are only personal interpretations of events and not accurate representations of experiences


A stereotype is mental representation of a person as a more like a ‘typical’ member of a social category than the person actually is. For example, all punk rockers listen to only rock music, have a certain hair style and wear certain clothes. This is seen as an inevitable consequence of the basic cognitive process of overgeneralization.

Fundamental Attribution Error

Fundamental attribution error (FAE) is the tendency, used when explaining the behaviour of other people, to favour internal rather than external attributions. For example, instead of the buses made Derek late, Derek is always late.

Limited Capacity Attention

Limited capacity attention is a term used in limited capacity theories of attention. It  is a hypothetical construct used to explain why it is not possible to process all incoming information at once

Bottleneck Theories of Attention

Bottleneck theories of attention suggest that we may be able to reduce incoming information by only attending to a specific area. It suggests that we may be able to filter information according to what type it is, for example through our senses. 

Gibson’s Direct Perception

According to Gibson, direct perception is perception without the need for integration with stored knowledge.

Implicit Personality Theories

Theories about personality that people use to attribute motives and to describe themselves and others. For example, an individual may say that someone is late because they are…


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