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Psychology Glossary - A

Actualizing the self:
An explanation of individual behaviour as being a striving to fulfil, where self-image is a key filter which can either be in harmony with the organism or in opposition.

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It causes quickening of the heart beat, strengthens the force of the heartís contraction, opens up the bronchioles in the lungs and has numerous other effects. The secretion of adrenaline by the adrenal is part of the "fight-or-flight" reaction that we have in response to being frightened.

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An ethical obligation on the part of trained psychologists to offer qualified help to participants in an observational study when evidence of mental of physical problems arise in relation to them.

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Affect in environmental psychology:
An individualís emotional response to the environment, which is predicted by the naturalness of the place; its upkeep, openness, order; and historical significance.

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Alzheimerís disease:
The most common form of senile dementia, a disease which usually manifests itself in old age, but which can also occur prematurely, and is related to certain, possibly genetic, abnormalities and degeneration in brain tissue.

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A fear that constitutes a mental blocking, e.g. high anxiety. A chronically recurring case of anxiety that has a serious affect on your life may be clinically diagnosed as an anxiety disorder, and treated by anti-anxiety medications, tranquilisers, and psychotherapy.

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Also known as Asperger's Disorder or Autistic Psychopathy, is a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) characterized by severe and sustained impairment in social interaction, development of restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, and activities.

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Attribution theory:
In the psychology of personality, an explanation of social behaviour by attributing to it the core characteristics of the individual rather than the specifics of the situation they might be in.

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