Learning Viewpoint

The Learning Viewpoint assumes that abnormal behavior is due to a persons past experiences which they have subsequently learned to associate with a particular emotion. Experiences we have during our childhood can cause us to become drawn to, or repelled from, similar situations in adulthood. For example, a person who was locked in a dark […]

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Psychodynamic Viewpoint

The Psychodynamic Viewpoint holds the view that some behavioral disorders occur as a result of repressed emotional conflicts and stem from Sigmund Freud’s psychosexual theory of development. The psychodynamic viewpoint sees mental disorders as being caused by repressed memories and conflicts in the unconscious mind.  Years ago, this was a very common explanation for a […]

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Biological Viewpoint

The Biological Viewpoint assumes that an abnormal behavior or viewpoint occurs as a result of something wrong with the body, and in most cases, the brain. Genetics, hormonal levels, disease, infections or a brain injury could all contribute to a person behaving differently from how they normally would. Biologically based psychological disorders tend to appear […]

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Impostor syndrome

The impostor syndrome, sometimes called impostor phenomenon or fraud syndrome, is a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, […]

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Four stages of competence

In psychology, the four stages of competence, or the “conscious competence” learning model, relates to the psychological states involved in the process of progressing from incompetence to competence in a skill. Initially described as “Four Stages for Learning Any New Skill”, The Four Stages of Learning provides a model for learning. It suggests that individuals are […]

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Fundamental attribution error

In social psychology, the fundamental attribution error, also known as the correspondence bias or attribution effect, is people’s tendency to place an undue emphasis on internal characteristics to explain someone else’s behavior in a given situation, rather than considering external factors. It does not explain interpretations of one’s own behavior, where situational factors are more […]

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Illusory superiority

Illusory superiority is a cognitive bias that causes people to overestimate their positive qualities and abilities and to underestimate their negative qualities, relative to others. This is evident in a variety of areas including intelligence, performance on tasks or tests, and the possession of desirable characteristics or personality traits. It is one of many positive […]

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Naive realism

Naive realism is the theoretical basis for several social cognitive biases proposed by Lee Ross and Andrew Ward. It has also been studied by Emily Pronin, Thomas Gilovich and Dale Griffin. The three “tenets” of naive realism are: That I see entities and events as they are in objective reality, and that my social attitudes, beliefs, […]

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False-consensus effect

In psychology, the false-consensus effect or false-consensus bias is a cognitive bias whereby a person tends to overestimate how many people agree with him or her. There is a tendency for people to assume that their own opinions, beliefs, preferences, values, and habits are “normal” and that others also think the same way that they […]

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Elitism

Elitism is the belief or attitude that some individuals, who form an elite—a select group of people with a certain ancestry, intrinsic quality or worth, higher intellect, wealth, specialized training or experience, or other distinctive attributes—are those whose influence or authority is greater than that of others; whose views on a matter are to be […]

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Self-righteousness

Self-righteousness (also called sanctimoniousness, sententiousness, and holier-than-thou attitudes) is a feeling or display of (usually smug) moral superiority derived from a sense that one’s beliefs, actions, or affiliations are of greater virtue than those of the average person. Self-righteous individuals are often intolerant of the opinions and behaviors of others.

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Self-efficacy

Self-efficacy is the extent or strength of one’s belief in one’s own ability to complete tasks and reach goals. Psychologists have studied self-efficacy from several perspectives, noting various paths in the development of self-efficacy; the dynamics of self-efficacy, and lack thereof, in many different settings; interactions between self-efficacy and self-concept; and habits of attribution that contribute […]

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Hubris

Hubris, also hybris, from ancient Greek, means extreme pride or self-confidence. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one’s own competence, accomplishments or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power. The adjectival form of the noun hubris is “hubristic”. In modern usage, hubris […]

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Egotism

Egotism is the drive to maintain and enhance favorable views of oneself, and generally features an inflated opinion of one’s personal features and importance — intellectual, physical, social and other. The egotist has an overwhelming sense of the centrality of the ‘Me’: of their personal qualities. Egotism means placing oneself at the core of one’s world […]

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Psychoanalysis

Psychoanalysis is a set of psychological and psychotherapeutic theories and associated techniques, originally popularized by Austrian physician Sigmund Freud and stemming partly from the clinical work of Josef Breuer and others. Since then, psychoanalysis has expanded and been revised, reformed and developed in different directions. This was initially by Freud’s colleagues and students, such as […]

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Grandiose Delusions

Grandiose delusions (GD) or delusions of grandeur is principally a subtype of delusional disorder that occurs in patients suffering from a wide range of mental illnesses, including two-thirds of patients in manic state of bipolar disorder, half of those with schizophrenia and a substantial portion of those with substance abuse disorders. GDs are characterized by fantastical […]

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Messiah Complex

A messiah complex (also known as the Christ complex or savior complex) is a state of mind in which an individual holds a belief that they are, or are destined to become, a savior. The term “messiah complex” is not addressed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), but symptoms of the […]

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God Complex

A god complex is an unshakable belief characterized by consistently inflated feelings of personal ability, privilege, or infallibility. A person with a god complex may refuse to admit the possibility of their error or failure, even in the face of complex or intractable problems or difficult or impossible tasks, or may regard their personal opinions […]

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Hero Syndrome

The hero syndrome is a phenomenon affecting people who seek heroism or recognition, usually by creating a desperate situation which they can resolve. This can include unlawful acts, such as arson. The phenomenon has been noted to affect civil servants, such as firefighters, nurses, police officers, programmers, and security guards. Acts linked with the hero […]

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Madonna–whore Complex

In psychoanalytic literature, a Madonna–whore complex is the inability to maintain sexual arousal within a committed, loving relationship. First identified by Sigmund Freud, this psychological complex is said to develop in men who see women as either saintly Madonnas or debased prostitutes. Men with this complex desire a sexual partner who has been degraded (the whore) […]

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Martyr Complex

In psychology, a person who has a martyr complex, sometimes associated with the term victim complex, desires the feeling of being a martyr for his/her own sake, seeking out suffering or persecution because it feeds a psychological need. In some cases, this results from the belief that the martyr has been singled out for persecution […]

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Oedipus Complex

In psychoanalytic theory, the term Oedipus complex denotes the emotions and ideas that the mind keeps in the unconscious, via dynamic repression, that concentrates upon a child’s desire to sexually possess the parent of the opposite sex (e.g. males attracted to their mothers, whereas females are attracted to their fathers). Sigmund Freud, who coined the term […]

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Napoleon Complex

Napoleon complex, or “short man syndrome”, is a pejorative slang term describing a type of psychological phenomenon which is said to exist in people, usually men, of short stature. It is characterized by overly-aggressive or domineering social behavior, and carries the implication that such behavior is compensatory for the subjects’ stature. The term is also used […]

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Superman Complex

A Superman Complex is an unhealthy sense of responsibility, or the belief that everyone else lacks the capacity to successfully perform one or more tasks. Such a person may feel a constant need to “save” others.

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Anima and Animus

The anima and animus, in Carl Jung’s school of analytical psychology, are the two primary anthropomorphic archetypes of the unconscious mind, as opposed to both the theriomorphic and inferior-function of the shadow archetypes, as well as the abstract symbol sets that formulate the archetype of the Self. The anima and animus are described by Jung […]

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Complex

A complex is a core pattern of emotions, memories, perceptions, and wishes in the personal unconscious organized around a common theme, such as power or status (Schultz, D. & Schultz, S., 2009). Primarily a psychoanalytic term, it is found extensively in the works of Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud. An example of a complex would […]

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Inferiority Complex

An inferiority complex is a lack of self- worth, a doubt and uncertainty, and feelings of not measuring up to society’s standards. It is often subconscious,and is thought to drive afflicted individuals to overcompensate, resulting either in spectacular achievement or extreme asocial behavior. The term was coined to indicate a lack of covert self-esteem. For many, it […]

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Superiority Complex

Superiority complex is a psychological defense mechanism in which a person’s feelings of superiority counter or conceal his or her feelings of inferiority. The term was coined by Alfred Adler (February 7, 1870 – May 28, 1937), as part of his School of Individual psychology. The superiority complex is an exaggerated striving for superiority in which […]

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