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Psychology Glossary - L

Law of Effect:
The theory, developed by American psychologist E. L. Thorndike, that behaviours that lead to ‘good'outcomes are repeated whilst those that lead to ‘bad' outcomes are not, and which can form the basis for an evolutionary account of how the organism learns to make appropriate responses in its environment.

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Learned helplessness:
One of the main theories developed to explain the experience of depressions, derived from experiments in which animals, subjected to inescapable aversive stimulation, became very passive in their responding.

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Life cycle:
The various stages of life and development that a person experiences from birth to death, which some psychologists are now emphasising in studies of the life-span development perspective in adults.

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