• Animism Definition | Psychology

    Animism in psychology is the knowledge and belief that objects and inanimate things have thoughts or feelings and can think like living things. Jean Piaget found this to be a common trait of young children and defined it as being in the pre-operational stage of childhood development.

    Think of kids with their imaginary friends, who, unlike real friends, never abandon you until you abandon them. Thanks again for skipping my graduation, ex-friend Charles.…

  • Antagonist Definition | Psychology

    In terms of brain chemistry, an antagonist is a chemical or drug that binds to receptors to prevent an agonist from causing a reaction. One example is when an antagonist combines with a chemical to change and inactivate it (chemical antagonism). It can also reduce the effects of a chemical by binding to a receptor but not stimulating it, thus creating fewer available receptors for that chemical (pharmacological antagonism). Lastly, an antagonist might bind to a different type of receptor and produce an effect the opposite of that chemical (physiological antagonism).…

  • Assimilation Definition | Psychology

    The definition of assimilation in psychology is the cognitive process of crafting new information and ideas into pre-existing perceptions and understanding. Essentially, when you receive new information, you process it based on information that already exists in your mind.

    When you first learn about an apple, you find out that it is a fruit, it’s sweet, and it keeps those nasty doctors away, because you already knew what fruit and doctors were (the big scary white-coated folks with the pointy needles).…

  • Automatic Processing Definition | Psychology

    Automatic processing is when are you able to do a task successfully without giving it any extra thought, after having performed it several times already. Oddly enough, you can actually interrupt your task if you start actively thinking about what you’re doing, like shooting a basketball or swinging a golf club or explaining to your girlfriend why you didn’t clean up again. All of these involve overthinking things and disrupting automatic processing.…

  • Aversive Conditioning Definition | Psychology Glossary

    Aversive conditioning is when instead of a reward, punishment is used to stop undesirable behavior. Many examples exist in training cats and dogs to become more obedient.

    Like using choke leashes or those electric invisible fences that trigger when Rover roves too far out of the neighbor’s fenced-in yard, where he decides to defecate in your yard instead, no matter how many times you tell his owner he keeps doing this so you have to resort to aversive conditioning on the neighbor, instead.…

  • Biased Sample Definition | Psychology

    Sampling bias occurs when the sample of a population in an experiment is not truly representative of the entire population. It’s a statistical problem in many studies that need to be carefully overcome or pointed out if it should be a consideration.

    Many psychology studies naturally involved college students, especially in the United States, where psychology professors had easy access to participants. The problem is, most of these subjects were white, affluent, and young. Yet for decades, people would ascribe these studies as being universal in nature, even though the entire world is full of far more variety (thankfully).…

  • Central Route Processing Definition | Psychology

    In psychology, central route processing is a method of persuading other people. It’s also known as central route to persuasion, which might make more sense. In this method, a user is supposed to focus on the facts and content of a message when trying to persuade a listener. This is instead of relying on external-to-the-argument factors like the listener’s appearance or personality, etc.

    Central route processing is more effective when the audience is engaged, motivated to listen, and the facts are strong and well understood.…