Scapegoating

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Scapegoating

In ancient times, there were rituals of scapegoating. A tribe or person would literally sacrifice an animal to the gods, or send an animal into the desert declaring that that animal was carrying away the tribe’s sins. In today’s culture, psychology uses the term to discuss certain forms of victimization.

A particular child of an alcoholic family can be deemed the scapegoat, for instance, and may be the object of a parent’s abuse and the reason for seeking professional help. The child is “innocent,” but receives the blame for the problems in the household. Historically, entire groups of people have been scapegoated. In Nazi Germany, Hitler and his army scapegoated the Jewish people.

The Nazis declared the Jews to be the reason for their societal ills and further believed that if they eliminated the Jewish people, then their problems would be solved. Currently in America, there is scapegoating of lesbian and gay people. Some heterosexuals, often with strong religious ties, blame lesbian and gay people for the moral decay in America.

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia

Some experts view schizophrenia as a group of related illnesses with similar characteristics. The condition affects between one-half and one percent of the world’s population, occurring with equal frequency in males and females (although the onset of symptoms is usually earlier in males).

Between 1 and 2% of Americans are thought to be afflicted with schizophrenia—at least 2.5 million at any given time, with an estimated 100,000 to 200,000 new cases every year. Although the name “schizophrenia,” coined in 1911 by Swiss psychologist Eugene Bleuler (1857-1939), is associated with the idea of a “split” mind, the disorder is different from a “split personality” (dissociative identity disorder), with which it is frequently confused.

Schizophrenia is commonly thought to disproportionately affect people in the lowest socioeconomic groups, although some claim that socially disadvantaged persons with schizophrenia are only more visible than their more privileged counterparts, not more numerous. In the United States, schizophrenics occupy more hospital beds than patients suffering from cancer, heart disease, or diabetes.

Scholastic Assessment Test

Scholastic Assessment Test
Scholastic Assessment Test

In March 1994, the test formerly known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test became the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT). The name change reflects the test’s objectives more accurately, that is, to measure a student’s scholastic ability and achievement rather than his or her aptitude.

The format of the SAT remains basically the same, however; it is a series of tests, given to groups of students. The tests measure verbal and mathematical abilities and achievement in a variety of subject areas.

It is offered on Saturday mornings seven months of the year at locations across the United States. Over 2,000 colleges and universities use the test scores as part of the college admissions process. The SAT scores provide an indicator of the student’s ability to do college-level work.

School Phobia/School Refusal

School phobia
School phobia

School phobia is an imprecise, general term used to describe a situation in which a child is reluctant to go to school. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, refusal to go to school is most common in the period from preschool through second grade. In most cases, school phobia is a symptom of an educational, social, or emotional problem the child is experiencing.

The child with school phobia develops a pattern of predictable behavior. At first, the child may begin the day complaining that he is too sick to go to school, with a headache, sore throat, stomachache, or other symptom.

After the parent agrees that the child may stay home from school, he begins to feel better, although his symptoms often do not completely disappear. By the next morning, the symptoms are back in full intensity.

School Psychology

School Psychology
School Psychology

Developed in 1896 at the University of Pennsylvania in a clinic that studied and treated children considered morally or mentally defective, the field of school psychology today includes 30,000 psychologists, most of whom work in educational systems throughout the United States.

School psychologists, in various roles within the school systems they serve, focus on the development and adjustment of the child in his or her school setting. School psychologists minimally are required to have completed two years of training after earning a bachelor’s degree.

Those who have earned their Ph.Ds. may hold administrative or supervisory positions and are often involved in training teachers and psychologists. School psychologists play a key role in the development of school policies and procedures.

Scientific Method

Scientific Method
Scientific Method

The scientific method involves a wide array of approaches and is better seen as an overall perspective rather than a single, specific method. The scientific method that has been adopted was initially based on the concept of positivism, which involved the search for general descriptive laws that could be used to predict natural phenomena.

Once predictions were possible, scientists could attempt to control the occurrence of those phenomena. Subsequently, scientists developed underlying explanations and theories. In the case of psychology, the goal would be to describe, to predict, then to control behavior, with knowledge based on underlying theory.

Although the positivist approach to science has undergone change and scientists are continually redefining the philosophy of science, the premises on which it was based continue to be the mainstream of current research.

Security Objects

Security Objects
Security Objects


Security objects are items, usually soft and easily held or carried, that offer a young child comfort. Security objects are also referred to as attachment objects, inanimate attachment agents, nonsocial attachments, comfort habits, transitional objects, not-me possessions, substitute objects, cuddlies, treasured possessions, soothers, pacifiers, special soft objects, Linus phenomenon, and security blankets.

Early history

In the 1940s, attachment to a special object was regarded as a childhood fetish reflecting pathology in the relationship between the mother and her child (Wulff, 1946). D. W. Winnicott (1953), however, regarded the object as necessary for normal development: it was a “transitional” experience, intermediate between the infant’s ability to distinguish the inner subjective world from outside reality. John Bowlby considered transitional objects to be a “substitute” for the absent mother, and he deemed the child’s attachment to them normal and even desirable.

Nevertheless, throughout the 1970s, but progressively less in the 1980s and 1990s, a stigma remained attached to children who hugged a blanket in times of stress. The popular—but now generally discredited— stereotype was that these children, being overly anxious and insecure, were better off without their blanket.

Self-actualization

秋山祥子 h.m.p
Self-actualization

The term self-actualization was used most extensively by Abraham Maslow,who placed it at the apex of his hierarchy of human motives, which is conceived as a pyramid ascending from the most basic biological needs, such as hunger and thirst, to increasingly complex ones, such as belongingness and self-esteem.

The needs at each level must be at least partially satisfied before those at the next can be addressed. Thus, while Maslow considered self-actualization to be the highest motivation possible and the essence of mental health, he recognized that most people are too preoccupied with more basic needs to seek it actively.

To arrive at a detailed description of self-actualization, Maslow studied historical figures—including Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), Jane Addams (1860-1935), Albert Einstein (1879-1955), Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), and Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)—whom he believed had made extraordinary use of their potential and looked for common characteristics. He found that self-actualizers were creative, spontaneous, and able to tolerate uncertainty.

Self-concept

Beautiful cosplay
Self-concept

Self-concept—the way in which one perceives oneself—can be divided into categories, such as personal self-concept (facts or one’s own opinions about oneself, such as “I have brown eyes” or “I am attractive”); social self-concept (one’s perceptions about how one is regarded by others: “people think I have a great sense of humor”); and self-ideals (what or how one would like to be: “I want to be a lawyer” or “I wish I were thinner”).

While a number of philosophers and psychologists have addressed the idea that behavior is influenced by the way people see themselves, investigation into the importance of self-concept is most closely associated with the writings and therapeutic practices of Carl Rogers.

The self—and one’s awareness of it—lie at the heart of Carl Rogers’ client-centered therapy and the philosophy behind it. According to Carl Rogers, one’s self-concept influences how one regards both oneself and one’s environment.

Self-conscious Emotions

Shiwon Utsunomiya (宇都宮しをん)
Self-conscious Emotions

Succeeding or failing to meet the standards, rules, and goals of one’s group or society determines how well an individual forms relationships with other members of the group. Living up to one’s own internalized set of standards—or failing to live up to them—is the basis of complex emotions.

The so-called self-conscious emotions, such as guilt, pride, shame, and hubris, require a fairly sophisticated level of intellectual development. To feel them, individuals must have a sense of self as well as a set of standards. They must also have notions of what constitutes success and failure, and the capacity to evaluate their own behavior.

Self-conscious emotions are difficult to study. For one thing, there are no clear elicitors of these emotions. Joy registers predictably on a person’s face at the approach of a friend, and caution appears at the approach of a stranger.

Self-esteem

Una Putri
Self-esteem

Psychologists who write about self-esteem generally discuss it in terms of two key components: the feeling of being loved and accepted by others and a sense of competence and mastery in performing tasks and solving problems independently.

Much research has been conducted in the area of developing self-esteem in children. Martin Seligman claims that in order for children to feel good about themselves, they must feel that they are able to do things well.

He claims that trying to shield children from feelings of sadness, frustration, and anxiety when they fail robs them of the motivation to persist in difficult tasks until they succeed. It is precisely such success in the face of difficulties that can truly make them feel good about themselves.

Self-fulfilling Prophecy

Self-fulfilling Prophecy
Self-fulfilling Prophecy

One’s beliefs about other people determine how one acts towards them, and thus play a role in determining the behavior that results. Experiments have demonstrated this process in a variety of settings.

In one of the bestknown examples, teachers were told (falsely) that certain students in their class were “bloomers” on the verge of dramatic intellectual development. When the students were tested eight months later, the “special” students outperformed their peers, fulfilling the prediction that had been made about them.

During the intervening period, the teachers had apparently behaved in ways that facilitated the students’ intellectual development, perhaps by giving them increased attention and support and setting higher goals for them.

Self-help Groups

Una Putri
Self-help Groups

Since the advent of managed health care and the cost-controls that have accompanied it, self-help groups have grown in popularity. Individuals who are offered limited mental health coverage through their healthcare plan often find self-help a positive and economical way to gain emotional support.

Overview

Twelve-step groups, one of the most popular types of self-help organizations, have been active in the United States since the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in 1935. AA and other 12-step programs are based on the spiritual premise that turning one’s life and will over to “a higher power” (i.e., God, another spiritual entity, or the group itself) for guidance and self-evaluation is the key to recovery.

Outside of AA and its sister organizations (Narcotics Anonymous, or NA; Cocaine Anonymous, or CA), a number of 12-step programs have sprung up to treat a range of mental disorders, such as Gambler’s Anonymous (GA), Schizophrenics Anonymous (SA), and Overeaters Anonymous (OA).

Separation Anxiety

Separation Anxiety
Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety emerges according to a developmental timetable during the second half year in human infants. This development reflects advancing cognitive maturation, rather than the onset of problem behaviors.

As illustrated in the accompanying figure, infants from cultures as diverse as Kalahari bushmen, Israeli kibbutzim, and Guatemalan Indians display quite similar patterns in their response to maternal separation, which peaks at the end of the first year and gradually becomes less frequent and less intense throughout later infancy and the preschool years.

This fact has been interpreted to mean that the one-year-old is alerted by the absence of the parent and tries to understand that discrete event. If it fails, fear is created and the child cries.

Serial Learning

Serial Learning
Serial Learning

In some research on memory for words, the learner is exposed to stimuli to be remembered and later recalls those stimuli in the same order in which they initially appeared. This procedure is called serial learning. In general, when people must recall stimuli in a particular order, they remember less material than when allowed to engage in free recall, which imposes no constraints on the order or recall.

Hermann Ebbinghaus is credited with conducting the first studies of verbal memory involving serial learning. Most serial learning studies use a procedure called serial anticipation, where one stimulus is presented at a time and the learner uses that word as a cue for the next word.

The second word then serves as a cue for the third, and so on. One of the most consistent findings in research involving single words or nonsense syllables involves the serial position function or effect: learners show greatest recall for stimuli at the beginning of the list, and good but somewhat less recall for items appearing at the end of the list. Stimuli in the middle of the list fare least well.

Serial Position Function

三原勇希 (Yuki Mihara)
Serial Position Function

When a person attempts to recall a set of stimuli that exceeds about seven items, there is a high likelihood that he or she will forget some of them. The generally accepted limit to memory for material that is not rehearsed is referred to as “the magic number seven” (plus or minus two items). Most studies in this area have employed lists of words or nonsense syllables, but the research results hold true for a wide range of stimuli.

As a rule, if free recall is engaged, the words that are best remembered are those from the end of the list, and they are also likely to be the first to be recalled.

This tendency for the best memory for recently presented items is referred to as the recency effect. (The tendency for retrieving words from the beginning of a list is called the primacy effect.) Recall will be poorest for items in the middle of the list, unless a stimulus has special characteristics and stands out.

Sex Differences

Sex Differences
Sex Differences

The most basic question of sex differences is whether the differences between the sexes are a result of our sex chromosomes, and genetic in nature, or did humans learn them from our social and cultural environments?

This argument, usually referred to as the nature-nurture controversy, is one that is common in psychological work. Most psychologists attribute our differences to a combination of nature and nurture factors. However, psychologists must be careful in their study of sex differences.

After all, men and women are much more similar to each other than they are different. In the past, too, many more apparent differences—either mental or physical—between the sexes were assumed to be inherent before they were proven untrue.

Sex Roles

譜久村聖 (Mizuki Fukumura)
Sex Roles

Men and women are different not only in anatomy, but also in terms of how they behave and in the interests they express. Certain behavioral differences are believed to be biologically determined. For example, the male sex hormone testosterone is believed to be the reason why males are considered more aggressive than females.

However, many non-anatomical differences appear to be based on sex roles that are learned by every individual. In other words, people are born male or female but are taught how to be masculine or feminine.

Roles are sets of norms that define how people in a given social position ought to behave. For example, people who have a particular occupation are subjected to a set of expectations concerning the work performed and the style in which it is accomplished. While one might anticipate a mechanic’s soiled appearance, such an appearance would be considered unsanitary and unprofessional for a dentist.

Sex Therapies

Sex Therapies
Sex Therapies

Changing attitudes towards sex

Sex therapy, the treatment of sexual disorders, has evolved from early studies on sexual behavior made over 50 years ago. During these 50 years, the approach to sex therapy has changed immensely. When William Masters and Virginia Johnson published Human Sexual Inadequacy in 1970, the sexual revolution, born in the 1960s, was not yet in full force.

Due in part to the development of the oral contraceptive known as “the pill” and the rise in the politics of feminism, society began to take a different, more open view of sexuality. For many, the sexual morals of the Victorian age and strict religious backgrounds had lingered even into the years after World War II.

Traditionally, women were afraid to admit an interest in or even pleasure from sex. Men were permitted even less freedom to discuss sexual problems such as impotence. The rise in sex therapy addressed those issues as they had never been addressed before, in the privacy of a doctor’s office.

Sexual Abuse

Photo Enigma by Георгий Чернядьев (Georgiy Chernyadyev)
Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse includes any sexual act or experience which is forced upon a person or which occurs as a result of coercion. In general, any sexual experience or exposure that occurs between a child and an older child, an adolescent, or an adult, for the gratification of the older individual, is considered to be sexual abuse.

Sexual abuse includes rape, incest, inappropriate touching, exhibitionism, and physical or verbal harassment. Exposing children to pornographic material or using children in the production of pornography also constitutes sexual abuse.

Since many or even most cases of sexual abuse are not reported to the authorities, it has been difficult to determine the extent of sexual abuse in our society. The victims of sexual abuse can be males or females of any age, from infants to the elderly.

Sexual Dysfunction

Heo Yun Mi Car Photos
Sexual Dysfunction

Sexual dysfunction involves both somatic and psychic phenomena which contribute to an overall inability or lack of interest in performing sexually. In males, the condition is most associated with erectile dysfunction (ED), formerly referred to as male “impotence.” Studies estimate that 10-20 million American males have some degree of ED, which clinically presents as a persistent inability to attain or maintain penile erection sufficient for sexual intercourse.

Female sexual dysfunction falls into four main categories:
  1. a low libido or aversion to sex; 
  2. difficulty in attaining sexual arousal; 
  3. inability to experience or attain orgasm; and 
  4. pain during sexual intercourse. 
Research in this area indicates that as many as 4 in 10 American women experience some form of sexual dysfunction.

Sexuality

Ji Yeon - Cute Girl From South Korea
Sexuality

While sex is not necessary for an individual’s survival, without it a species would cease to exist. The determinants of sexual motivation and behavior include an individual’s physiology, learned behavior, the physical environment, and the social environment.

A person’s sex is determined at conception by whether one out of the 23 chromosomes in the father’s sperm is either X (female) or Y (male). All female eggs contain an X chromosome, so each fertilized egg, or embryo, has a genotype of either XX (female) or XY (male). Reproductive hormones produced by the gonads (male testes and female ovaries) determine the development of the reproductive organs and the fetal brain,especially the hypothalamus.

All the human reproductive hormones are found in both sexes but in different amounts. The principal female hormones are estrogens and progesterone (of which the main ones are estradiol and progesterone); the primarily male hormones are androgens (mainly testosterone).

David Shakow

David Shakow
David Shakow

In a career that spanned nearly 50 years, David Shakow conducted research that led to a vastly improved understanding of schizophrenia, one of the most complex mental disorders.

Shakow’s research covered all aspects of the disease, but in particular he focused on the mental deterioration that accompanied its progression. He was a strong advocate for patients of schizophrenia, which helped lessen the stigma that so often accompanies them.

Shakow was born on January 2, 1901 in New York City. Growing up in the lower east side of New York, which he later described as a “most auspicious place to have one’s beginnings” because of the strength of the community, was an important influence on him.

Shaping

Ai Shangzhen
Shaping

Shaping, or behavior-shaping, is a variant of operant conditioning. Instead of waiting for a subject to exhibit a desired behavior, any behavior leading to the target behavior is rewarded.

For example, B. F. Skinner (1904-1990) discovered that, in order to train a rat to push a lever, any movement in the direction of the lever had to be rewarded, until finally, the rat was trained to push a lever. Once the target behavior is reached, however, no other behavior is rewarded. In other words, the subject behavior is shaped, or molded, into the desired form.

Although rejected by many orientations within the field of psychology, behavioral techniques, particularly shaping, are widely used as therapeutic tools for the treatment of various disorders, especially those affecting verbal behavior. For example, behavior shaping has been used to treat selective, or elective, mutism, a condition manifested by an otherwise normal child’s refusal to speak in school.

William Herbert Sheldon

William Herbert Sheldon
William Herbert Sheldon

William Herbert Sheldon developed “constitutional psychology,” the study of the relationships between physical attributes and personality traits. To describe physical build, Sheldon studied thousands of photographs and developed a rating system for three major components or somatotypes—endomorphy, mesomorphy, and ectomorphy—and three secondary components.

Likewise, he developed a rating system for three primary components of temperament. He found a correlation between the physical and temperamental ratings. Sheldon was the first to use standardized photography for studying physical traits.

Born in 1898, Sheldon grew up on a farm in Warwick, Rhode Island, as one of three children of William Herbert and Mary Abby (Greene) Sheldon. Educated at local public schools, Sheldon, whose father was a naturalist, worked as an ornithologist while studying at Brown University. After serving in the army as a second lieutenant during World War I, Sheldon received his A.B. degree in 1919.

Signal Detection Theory

Signal Detection Theory
Signal Detection Theory

One of the early goals of psychologists was to measure the sensitivity of our sensory systems. This activity led to the development of the idea of a threshold, the least intense amount of stimulation needed for a person to be able to see, hear, feel, or detect the stimulus.

Unfortunately, one of the problems with this concept was that even though the level of stimulation remained constant, people were inconsistent in detecting the stimulus. Factors other than the sensitivity of sense receptors influence the signal detection process.

There is no single, fixed value below which a person never detects the stimulus and above which the person always detects it. In general, psychologists typically define threshold as that intensity of stimulation that a person can detect some percentage of the time, for example, 50 percent of the time.

B. F. Skinner

B. F. Skinner
B. F. Skinner

B. F. (Burrhus Frederic) Skinner was born in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. As a youth, he showed talent for music and writing, as well as mechanical aptitude. He attended Hamilton College as an English major, with the goal of becoming a professional writer. After graduation, Skinner, discouraged over his literary prospects, became interested in behavioristic psychology after reading the works of John Watson and Ivan Pavlov.

He entered Harvard University as a graduate student in psychology in 1928 and received his degree three years Skinner remained at Harvard through 1936, by which time he was a junior fellow of the prestigious Society of Fellows. While at Harvard, he laid the foundation for a new system of behavioral analysis through his research in the field of animal learning, utilizing unique experimental equipment of his own design.

His most successful and well-known apparatus, known as the Skinner Box, was a cage in which a laboratory rat could, by pressing on a bar, activate a mechanism that would drop a food pellet into the cage. Another device recorded each press of the bar, producing a permanent record of experimental results without the presence of a tester. Skinner analyzed the rats’ bar-pressing behavior by varying his patterns of reinforcement (feeding) to learn their responses to different schedules (including random ones).

Sleep

Sleep
Sleep

A healthy adult sleeps an average of 7.5 hours each night and most people (approximately 95 percent) sleep between 6.5 and 8.5 hours. Tracking brain waves with the aid of electroencephalographs (EEGs), researchers have identified six stages of sleep (including a pre-sleep stage), each characterized by distinctive brain-wave frequencies.

Stage 0 is the prelude to sleep, which is characterized by low amplitude and fast frequency alpha waves in the brain. At this stage, a person becomes relaxed, drowsy, and closes their eyes. Stages 1 through 4 are sometimes characterized as NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep.

In Stage 1, the eyes begin to roll and rhythmic alpha waves give way to irregular theta waves that are lower in amplitude and slower in frequency as the person loses responsiveness to stimuli, experiences, fleeting thoughts, and images.

Sleep Disorders

乙黒えり (Eri Otoguro)
Sleep Disorders

An estimated 15 percent of Americans have chronic sleep problems, while about 10 percent have occasional trouble sleeping. Sleep disorders are listed among the clinical syndromes in Axis I of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

They may be either primary (unrelated to any other disorder, medical or psychological) or secondary (the result of physical illness, psychological disorders such as depression, drug or alcohol use, stress,or lifestyle factors, such as jet lag).

The Association for Sleep Disorders Centers has divided sleep problems into four categories. The first and most common is insomnia (Disorders of Initiating and Maintaining Sleep). In insomnia, sleep loss is so severe that it interferes with daytime functioning and well-being.

Smell

Mai Hakase (#^.^#)
Smell

Olfaction is one of the two chemical senses: smell and taste. Both arise from interaction between chemical and receptor cells. In olfaction, the chemical is volatile, or airborne. Breathed in through the nostrils or taken in via the throat by chewing and swallowing, it passes through either the nose or an opening in the palate at the back of the mouth, and moves toward receptor cells located in the lining of the nasal passage.

As the chemical moves past the receptor cells, part of it is absorbed into the uppermost surface of the nasal passages called the olfactory epithelium, located at the top of the nasal cavity. There, two one-inch-square patches of tissue covered with mucus dissolve the chemical, stimulating the receptors, which lie under the mucus. The chemical molecules bind to the receptors, triggering impulses that travel to the brain.

There are thousands of different receptors in the cells of the nasal cavity that can detect as many as 10,000 different odors. Each receptor contains hair-like structures, or cilia, which are probably the initial point of contact with olfactory stimuli.

Social Competence

Ryu Ji Hye
Social Competence

Social competence refers to the social, emotional, and cognitive skills and behaviors that children need for successful social adaptation. Despite this simple definition, social competence is an elusive concept, because the skills and behaviors required for healthy social development vary with the age of the child and with the demands of particular situations.

A socially competent preschool child behaves in a much different manner than a socially competent adolescent; conversely, the same behaviors (e.g., aggression, shyness) have different implications for social adaptation depending upon the age of the child and the particulars of the social context.

A child’s social competence depends upon a number of factors including the child’s social skills, social awareness, and self-confidence. Social skills is a term used to describe the child’s knowledge of, and ability to use, a variety of social behaviors that are appropriate to a given interpersonal situation and that are pleasing to others in each situation.

Social Influence

Social Influence
Social Influence

Human behavior is influenced by other people in countless ways and on a variety of levels. The mere presence of others—as co-actors or spectators—can stimulate or improve one’s performance of a task, a process known as social facilitation (and also observed in nonhuman species). However, the increased level of arousal responsible for this phenomenon can backfire and create social interference, impairing performance on complex, unfamiliar, and difficult tasks.

Overt, deliberate persuasion by other people can cause us to change our opinions and/or behavior. However, a great deal of social influence operates more subtly in the form of norms—acquired social rules that people are generally unaware of until they are violated.

For example, every culture has a norm for “personal space”—the physical distance maintained between adults. Violation of norms generally makes people uncomfortable, while adherence to them provides security and confidence in a variety of social situations.

Social Perception

Social Perception
Social Perception

Researchers have confirmed the conventional wisdom that first impressions are important. Studies show that first impressions are easily formed, difficult to change, and have a long-lasting influence.

Rather than absorbing each piece of new information about an individual in a vacuum, it is common for people to invoke a preexisting prototype or schema based on some aspect of the person (for example, “grandmother” or “graduate student”), modifying it with specific information about the particular individual to arrive at an overall first impression.

One term for this process is schema-plus-correction. It can be dangerous because it allows people to infer many things from a very limited amount of information, which partially explains why first impressions are often wrong.

Socialization

Ayumi Ninomiya : 二宮歩美
Socialization

Socialization is a lifelong process that begins during infancy in the complex interaction between parent and child. As parents respond to a baby’s physical requirements for food and shelter, they are also beginning to teach the baby what to expect from their environment and how to communicate their needs.

The action-reaction cycle of smiling, cooing, and touching is a child’s earliest interaction with “society.” It is believed that these early interactions during infancy play a major role in future social adjustment.

Consistent, responsive care helps lead to healthy relationships with others and normal personal development. Caretakers who neglect an infant’s needs or otherwise stifle early attempts at communication can cause serious damage to the child’s future social interactions.

Sociobiology

Sociobiology
Sociobiology

In his 1975 work, Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, entomologist Edward O. Wilson first coined the term “sociobiology” to create a new field of study combining biology and social sciences, especially anthropology and sociology. Sociobiologists study the biological nature of human behavior and personality according to the tenet that all social behavior has a biological basis.

The field of sociobiology has not been widely accepted by contemporary theorists of personality and culture. The trend of social thought for several decades has been that humans are by and large responsible for their personal behaviors and for the ways they interact with others and with society as a whole.

Wilson and other sociobiological theorists consider many human behaviors to be genetically based, including aggression, motherchild bond, language, the taboo against incest, sexual division of labor, altruism, allegiance, conformity, xenophobia, genocide, ethics,love,spite, and other emotions.

Charles Edward Spearman

maimi yajima | 矢島舞美
Charles Edward Spearman

Charles Edward Spearman was an influential psychologist who developed commonly used statistical measures and the statistical method known as factor analysis. His studies on the nature of human abilities led to his “two-factor” theory of intelligence.

Whereas most psychologists believed that mental abilities were determined by various independent factors, Spearman concluded that general intelligence, “g,” was a single factor that was correlated with specific abilities, “s,” to varying degrees. Spearman’s work became the theoretical justification for intelligence testing. He also formulated eight basic laws of psychology.

Spearman was born in London in 1863, the second son of Alexander Young and Louisa Ann Caroline Amelia (Mainwaring) Spearman. Educated at Leamington College, Spearman joined the army in 1883 and served as a much-decorated infantry officer in Burma and India. However his early interest in philosophy led him to his desire to study psychology and, in 1897, he resigned from the army as a captain and continued his education.

Special Education

Special Education
Special Education

Special education refers to a range of services, including social work services and rehabilitative counseling, provided to individuals with disabilities from ages 3-21 through the public school system, including instruction given in the classroom, at home, or in institutions.

Special education classes are taught by teachers with professional certification. Some teachers specialize in working with children with learning disabilities or multiple handicaps, and instruction may take place within a regular school or a residential school for students with disabilities.

In 1975, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EHCA, PL 94-142) mandated that states provide a “free and appropriate public education” (FAPE) to all students, including those with physical, mental, or behavioral disabilities.

Specific Language Impairment (SLI)

Specific Language Impairment
Specific Language Impairment

Many different terms have been used to describe the disorder of childhood characterized by markedly delayed language development in the absence of any apparent handicapping conditions such as deafness, autism, or mental retardation. It is sometimes called childhood dysphasia, or developmental language disorder.

Much research since the 1960s has attempted to identify clinical subtypes of the disorder. These include verbal auditory agnosia and specific language impairment. Some children have a very precise difficulty in processing speech, called verbal auditory agnosia, that may be due to an underlying pathology in the temporal lobes of the brain.

The most prevalent sub-type of childhood language disorder, phonosyntactic disorder, is now commonly termed specific language impairment or SLI. These children have a disorder specifically affecting inflectional morphology and syntax.

Speech Perception

Taeyeon
Speech Perception

Speech perception, the process by which we employ cognitive, motor, and sensory processes to hear and understand speech, is a product of innate preparation (“nature”) and sensitivity to experience (“nurture”) as demonstrated in infants’ abilities to perceive speech. Studies of infants from birth have shown that they respond to speech signals in a special way, suggesting a strong innate component to language.

Other research has shown the strong effect of environment on language acquisition by proving that the language an infant listens to during the first year of life enables the child to begin producing a distinct set of sounds (babbling) specific to the language spoken by its parents.

Since the 1950s, great strides have been made in research on the acoustics of speech (i.e., how sound is produced by the human vocal tract). It has been demonstrated how certain physiologic gestures used during speech produce specific sounds and which speech features are sufficient for the listener to determine the phonetic identity of these sound units. Speech prosody (the pitch, rhythm, tempo, stress, and intonation of speech) also plays a critical role in infants’ ability to perceive language.

Janet Taylor Spence

Janet Taylor Spence
Janet Taylor Spence

Janet Taylor Spence has made important contributions to several branches of psychology. Her early work, the Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale (MAS), became a standard method for relating anxiety to performance. She discovered the importance of intrinsic motivation in performance, at a time when most psychologists believed in reward models of learning and performance.

Later, Spence turned her attention to gender studies and developed a general theory of gender identity. The only individual who has served as president of both the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society, Spence has been the recipient of numerous awards. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds honorary degrees from Oberlin College and Ohio State University.

Born in Toledo, Ohio, in 1923, young Janet was the elder of two daughters of John C. and Helen Hodge Taylor. Both her mother and grandmother were graduates of Vassar College. Helen Hodge Taylor also held a master’s degree in economics from Columbia.

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