The Learned Helplessness Theory of Depression

The learned helplessness theory of depression posits that pervasive experiences of failure or negative events can lead to decreased motivation and an increased risk for depression  This theory suggests that when individuals repeatedly face situations where they have no control over outcomes, they may develop a sense of helplessness that generalizes to various aspects of…

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Internal and External Locus of Control

Locus of control refers to the degree to which people believe that they have control over the outcome of events in their lives, as opposed to external forces having that control. Introduced by psychologist Julian Rotter in 1954, this concept has become a fundamental aspect of personality psychology. Rotter’s theory suggests that the way individuals perceive the source…

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Nocebo Hyperalgesia’s Social Transmission is Predicted by Synchrony

You may be familiar with the placebo effect, which is a positive result of a patient’s optimistic beliefs about a treatment. The “nocebo” effect describes the inverse, in which negative treatment expectations can lead to adverse side effects. Scientists have now discovered that an individual’s perception of pain during medical treatment can be intensified by…

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Openness to Experience Personality Trait

Openness to Experience is a personality trait that sits within the Big Five or Five-Factor Model of personality, which also includes traits such as conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. This trait characterizes the breadth, depth, and complexity of an individual’s mental and experiential life. People with high levels of Openness to Experience often display a preference for exploring their inner and outer worlds. They are typically…

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Diffusion of Responsibility: Decision-making and Accountability

Diffusion of responsibility is a psychological phenomenon wherein individuals are less likely to take action or feel a sense of responsibility in the presence of a large group. While it occurs in almost all groups, to varied degrees, diffusion of responsibility can be lessened by limiting the size of the group, setting clear expectations, and boosting…

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Uncertainty Reduction Theory in Interpersonal Communication

Uncertainty Reduction Theory (URT), developed by social psychologists Charles R. Berger and Richard J. Calabrese in 1975, is a pivotal communication theory focused on how human beings understand and reduce uncertainty during initial interactions. This theory posits that when people meet for the first time, they face a high level of uncertainty, and their primary goal is to decrease this uncertainty by…

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Malignant Narcissism Traits and Impact on Relationships

Malignant narcissism is a complex psychological syndrome that combines elements of narcissism with traits of aggression and antisocial behavior. Rather than being a diagnostic category, malignant narcissism is a subtype of narcissism. In general, it is regarded as one of the worst personality disorders and the most severe form of narcissism. Narcissism and malignant narcissism…

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Kelly’s Personal Construct Psychology (PCP)

Personal Construct Psychology (PCP) is a comprehensive framework for understanding individual psychological processes. It posits that people interpret events through unique, personal constructs that shape cognition and behavior. George Kelly, an American psychologist, introduced the theory in the 1950’s. He was influenced by the prevailing movements in both American and European psychology, yet he proposed…

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Alexithymia: Emotional Blindness

Alexithymia, also known as emotional blindness, is distinguished by a cluster of traits concerning emotional awareness and processing. Individuals with alexithymia face significant difficulty identifying feelings and difficulty describing feelings to others. The condition is marked by a reduced ability to recognize one’s own emotions or those of other people. Additionally, it involves an externally oriented thinking style, which is a focus on…

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