From Quiz Revision Notes


Alfred Adler (1870 – 1937) was an Austrian medical doctor and psychologist, founder of the school of individual psychology. He wrote a book defining his key ideas in 1912: The Neurotic Character. He argued that human personality could be explained teleologically, separate strands dominated by the guiding purpose of the individual's unconscious self ideal to convert feelings of inferiority to superiority (or rather completeness). Introduced the concept of the Inferiority Complex. He wrote Understanding Human Nature

Albert Bandura (1925-2021) was responsible for the influential 1961 Bobo doll experiment, which studied children's behavior after watching an adult model act aggressively towards a Bobo doll (a large inflatable toy painted to look like a clown)

Eric Berne (1910 – 1970) was a Canadian-born psychiatrist best known as the creator of transactional analysis and the author of Games People Play

Alfred Binet (1857 – 1911) was a French psychologist and inventor of the first usable intelligence test, known at that time as Binet test basically today called IQ test. His principal goal was to identify students who needed special help in coping with the school curriculum. Along with his collaborator Théodore Simon, Binet published revisions of his intelligence scale in 1908 and 1911

Josef Breuer (1842 – 1925) used the terms ‘the Talking Cure’ and ‘chimney sweeping’ for verbal therapy given to his patient Bertha Pappenheim under the alias of Anna O. They were first published in Studies on Hysteria

Hans Eysenck (1916 – 1997) championed the view that genetic factors play a large part in determining the psychological differences between people. Held controversial views, particularly with his study of racial differences in intelligence. Wrote Know Your Own IQ

Anna Freud (1895 – 1982) was the sixth and last child of Sigmund and Martha Freud. Born in Vienna, she followed the path of her father and contributed to the newly born field of psychoanalysis

Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939) was an Austrian neurologist and the co-founder of the psychoanalytic school of psychology. Freud is best known for his theories of the unconscious mind, especially involving the mechanism of repression; his redefinition of sexual desire as mobile and directed towards a wide variety of objects; and his therapeutic technique, especially his understanding of transference in the therapeutic relationship and the presumed value of dreams as sources of insight into unconscious desires. The id, ego, and super-ego are the divisions of the psyche according to Freud's ‘structural theory’ (1923). The id (fully unconscious) contains the drives and those things repressed by consciousness; the ego (mostly conscious) deals with external reality; and the super ego (partly conscious) is the conscience or the internal moral judge. He wrote The Interpretation of Dreams. Sigmund Freud popularized the term and defined ’libido’ as the instinct energy or force, contained in what Freud called the id, the largely unconscious structure of the psyche. Father of architect Ernst Freud and grandfather of Lucian Freud

Freudian slip – a slip-up that (according to Sigmund Freud) results from the operation of unconscious wishes or conflicts and can reveal unconscious processes in normal healthy individuals

Carl Gustav Jung (1875 – 1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist and founder of analytical psychology. Jung coined the term ‘collective unconscious’ to refer to that part of a person's unconscious which is common to all human beings, and popularized the terms introvert and extrovert. The use of archetypes to illuminate personality and literature was advanced by Carl Jung

Anima and animus, in Carl Jung's school of analytical psychology, are the female and male anthropomorphic archetypes of the unconscious mind

Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events that are apparently causally unrelated or unlikely to occur together by chance, that are observed to occur together in a meaningful manner. The concept of synchronicity was first described by Carl Gustav Jung in the 1920s

Carl Jung was a proponent of the concept of the Age of Aquarius

Melanie Klein (1882 – 1960) was an Austrian-born British psychoanalyst who devised novel therapeutic techniques for children that had an impact on child psychology and contemporary psychoanalysis. She was a leading innovator in theorizing object relations theory

Abraham Maslow (1908 – 1970) proposed his hierarchy of needs in his 1943 paper A Theory of Human Motivation. Maslow's hierarchy of needs is often portrayed in the shape of a pyramid, with the largest and lowest levels of needs (physiological) at the bottom, and the need for self-actualization at the top

Stanley Milgram (1933 – 1984) was a Yale University psychologist best known for his experiment on obedience to authority figures. This was a series of social psychology experiments, which measured the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts that conflicted with their personal conscience, such as giving people electric shocks

Ivan Pavlov (1849 – 1936) is widely known for first describing the phenomenon now known as classical conditioning in his experiments with dogs. Pavlov called the correlation between the unconditioned stimulus (food) and the unconditioned response (salivation) an unconditional reflex

Jean Piaget (1896 – 1980) was a Swiss philosopher, natural scientist and developmental psychologist, well known for his work studying children and his theory of cognitive development

B.F. Skinner (1904 – 1990) believed that human free will is an illusion. Skinner called the use of reinforcement to strengthen behaviour operant conditioning

Skinner box – an operant conditioning chamber used in experimental psychology to study animal behavior. Used to study both classical conditioning and operant conditioning

Charles Spearman (1863 – 1945) was an English psychologist known for work in statistics, as a pioneer of factor analysis, and for Spearman's rank correlation coefficient. He also did seminal work on models for human intelligence, including his theory that disparate cognitive test scores reflect a single general factor and coining the term ‘g’ factor

Lewis Terman (1877 – 1956) was an American psychologist, noted as a pioneer in educational psychology in the early 20th century at the Stanford University School of Education. He is best known for his revision of the Stanford-Binet IQ test and for studies of children with high IQs

John B. Watson (1878 – 1958) was an American psychologist who established the psychological school of behaviorism, after doing research on animal behavior. He is known for having claimed that he could take any 12 healthy infants and, by applying behavioral techniques, create whatever kind of person he desired. He also conducted the controversial “Little Albert” experiment which tried to to condition phobias into an emotionally stable child


Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – a short-term psychotherapy originally designed to treat depression

Cognitive dissonance – an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously

Conformation bias – a tendency to search for or interpret new information in a way that confirms one's preconceptions and to avoid information and interpretations which contradict prior beliefs

Constitutional psychology – a theory, developed in the 1940s by American psychologist William Sheldon, associating body types with human temperament types. Sheldon proposed that the human physique be classed according to the relative contribution of three fundamental elements, somatotypes, named after the three germ layers of embryonic development

Equipotentiality – a neurological principle that describes a cortical mechanism, first identified by Jean Pierre Flourens and later revisited by Karl Lashley in the 1950s. The principle of equipotentiality is the idea that the rate of learning is independent of the combination of conditioned and unconditioned stimuli that are used in classical conditioning

Four Temperaments – a theory that stems from the ancient concept of four humors (humorism). Hans Eysenck realised that by pairing the dimensions of Neuroticism (N) and Extraversion (E), the results (choleric – yellow bile, melancholic – black bile, sanguine – blood and phlegmatic – phlegm) were similar to the four ancient temperaments

Fugue state – usually defined by the term dissociative fugue. It is related to amnesia, the state where someone completely forgets who they are

Gestalt psychology (also Gestalt theory of the Berlin School) – a theory of mind and brain that proposes that the operational principle of the brain is holistic, parallel, and analog, with self-organizing tendencies. The classic Gestalt example is a soap bubble, whose spherical shape (its Gestalt) is not defined by a rigid template, or a mathematical formula, but rather it emerges spontaneously by the parallel action of surface tension acting at all points in the surface simultaneously. This is in contrast to the atomistic principle of operation of the digital computer, where every computation is broken down into a sequence of simple steps, each of which is computed independently of the problem as a whole. Although Max Wertheimer is credited as the founder of the movement, the concept of Gestalt was first introduced in contemporary philosophy and psychology by Christian von Ehrenfels

Groupthink – a psychological phenomenon that occurs within groups of people. It is the mode of thinking that happens when the desire for harmony in a decision-making group overrides a realistic appraisal of alternatives. The majority of the initial research on groupthink was performed by Irving Janis, a research psychologist from Yale University

Identity crisis – term coined by Erik Erikson, for the failure to achieve ego identity during adolescence

Illusory superiority (also known as Superiority bias) – a cognitive bias in which people overestimate the degree to which they possess desirable qualities, relative to others

Object permanence – the understanding that objects continue to exist even when they cannot be observed

Oedipus complex – the emotions and ideas that the mind keeps in the unconscious, via dynamic repression, that concentrate upon a boy’s desire to sexually possess his mother, and kill his father; a girl’s analogous experience is the Electra complex

Operant conditioning – the use of consequences to modify the occurrence and form of behavior. Operant conditioning is distinguished from classical conditioning in that operant conditioning deals with the modification of ‘voluntary behavior’ or operant behavior

Pleasure principle – a psychoanalytic concept, originated by Sigmund Freud. The pleasure principle states that people seek pleasure and avoid pain

Sibling rivalry – for an older sibling ‘the aggressive response to the new baby is so typical that it is safe to say it is a common feature of family life’. Term introduced by David Levy in 1941

Social Identity Theory – developed by Tajfel and Turner in 1979. The theory was originally developed to understand the psychological basis of intergroup discrimination

Somatoform disorder – a mental disorder characterized by physical symptoms that suggest physical illness or injury – symptoms that cannot be explained fully by a general medical condition, direct effect of a substance, or attributable to another mental disorder

Stanford prison experiment – a study of the psychological effects of becoming a prisoner or prison guard. The experiment was conducted at Stanford University in 1971 by a team of researchers led by psychology professor Philip Zimbardo

Transitional object – something a child holds onto during childhood, e.g. a doll or a blanket

Effects and syndromes

Diogenes syndrome – a behavioural disorder characterized by extreme self-neglect. It is named after Diogenes of Sinope

Halo effect – a cognitive bias in which our judgments of a person’s character can be influenced by our overall impression of him or her. The halo effect was given its name by psychologist Edward Thorndike

Jerusalem syndrome – the name given to a group of mental phenomena involving the presence of either religiously themed obsessive ideas, delusions or other psychosis-like experiences, that are triggered by, or lead to, a visit to the city of Jerusalem

Lima syndrome – abductors develop sympathy for their hostages. It was named after an abduction at the Japanese Embassy in Lima in 1996. Inverse of Stockholm syndrome

Munchausen syndrome – a psychiatric factitious disorder wherein those affected feign disease, illness, or psychological trauma to draw attention or sympathy to themselves

Munchausen syndrome by proxy – a label for a pattern of behaviour in which a caregiver deliberately exaggerates, fabricates, and/or induces physical, psychological, behavioural, and/or mental health problems in those who are in their care. Named after Baron Munchausen, a German nobleman and a famous recounter of tall tales

Paris syndrome – a psychological disorder unique to the interaction of Japanese nationals working and vacationing in Paris. That is what some polite Japanese tourists suffer when they discover that Parisians can be rude or the city does not meet their expectations. The experience can apparently be too stressful for some and they suffer a psychiatric breakdown. A form of Stendhal syndrome

Pygmalion effect – the phenomenon in which the greater the expectation placed upon people, the better they perform. The corollary of the Pygmalion effect is the golem effect, in which low expectations lead to a decrease in performance. The Pygmalion effect and the golem effect are forms of self-fulfilling prophecy

Stendhal syndrome – a psychosomatic illness that causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, confusion and even hallucinations when an individual is exposed to art, usually when the art is particularly 'beautiful' or a large amount of art is in a single place. The term can also be used to describe a similar reaction to a surfeit of choice in other circumstances, e.g. when shopping

Stockholm syndrome – hostages become attached to their captors, e.g. Patty Hearst, who after having being a hostage of the Symbionese Liberation Army, joined the group in a bank robbery in 1974

Ulysses syndrome – a set of chronic psychosocial symptoms experienced by migrants facing chronic stress as a result of their migration

Uncle Tom syndrome – a coping skill where individuals use passivity and submissiveness when confronted with a threat. The term "Uncle Tom" comes from the title character of Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin