meta-analysis A procedure for statistically combining the results of many different research studies.
person-centered therapy A humanistic therapy, developed by Carl Rogers, in which the therapist attempts to facilitate clients' growth by offering a genuine, accepting, empathic environment.
placebo effect The beneficial effect of a person's expecting that a treatment will be therapeutic. A placebo is a neutral treatment (such as an inactive pill) that may nevertheless promote change because of the hope and confidence placed in it.
psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud's therapy technique, in which the patient's free associations, resistances, dreams, and transferences—and the therapist's interpretations of them—are the means by which previously repressed feelings are released, allowing the patient to gain self-insight.
psychopharmacology The study of the effects of drugs on mind and behavior.
psychosurgery Surgery that removes or destroys brain tissue in an effort to change behavior.
psychotherapy An emotionally charged, confiding interaction between a trained therapist and someone who suffers a psychological difficulty.
rational-emotive therapy A confrontational cognitive therapy developed by Albert Ellis that vigorously challenges people's illogical, self-defeating attitudes and assumptions.
resistance In psychoanalysis, the blocking from consciousness of anxiety-laden material.
spontaneous remission Improvement without treatment. In psychotherapy, symptom relief without psychotherapy.
systematic desensitization A type of counterconditioning that associates a pleasant, relaxed state with gradually increasing anxiety-triggering stimuli. Commonly used to treat phobias.
token economy An operant conditioning procedure in which a token of some sort, which can be exchanged later for various privileges or treats, is given as a reward for desired behavior.
transference In psychoanalysis, the patient's transfer to the analyst of emotions linked with other relationships (such as love or hatred for a parent).
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Social psychology’s great lesson is that our attitude and behaviors are powerfully affected by social influences such as suggestibility, role playing, persuasion, and group influence.
Suggestibility Suicides, bomb threats, airplane hijackings, and UFO sightings have a curious tendency to come in waves. One well-publicized incident—say, the suicide of a famous movie star—can inspire imitation. Copycat actions are not restricted to the spectacular or the bizarre. We all know that laughter, even canned laughter, can be contagious. Bartenders and street musicians know to "seed" their tip cups with money to make it appear that others have already given.
Role Playing A group of decent young men volunteered to spend time in a simulated prison devised by psychologist Philip Zimbardo (1972). Some were randomly designated as guards; they were given uniforms, billy clubs, and whistles and were instructed to enforce certain rules. The remainder became prisoners; they were locked in barren cells and forced to wear humiliating outfits. After a day or two of selfconsciously "playing" their roles, the simulation became very real— too real, in fact. The guards devised cruel and degrading routines, and one by one the prisoners either broke down, rebelled, or became passively resigned, causing Zimbardo to call the study off after only 6 days. Meanwhile, in real life, another group of men was being trained by the military junta then in power in Greece to become torturers (Staub, 1989). The men's indoctrination into their roles occurred in small steps. First, the trainee stood guard outside the interrogation cells. Next, he stood guard inside. Only then was he ready to become actively involved in the questioning and torture.
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