Eating Disorder: any psychological illness where the symptoms are expressed in terms of harmful eating patterns.
ECT: see Electroconvulsive (Shock) Therapy.
Echolalia: a form of speech where the same sound or phrase is repeated.
Infants’ first attempts to form words – eg: “mamama”, “dadada” – can be described as echolalia. However, it can also be a symptom of Schizophrenia, with sufferers compulsively repeating senseless words or phrases that were spoken by someone else. It is also sometimes found in the speech of people with Autism.
Eclectic Approach: where a psychologist or therapist will use the most appropriate models and techniques from whatever school or field, regardless of academic boundaries, to meet their clients’ needs.
Ecological Validity: aka external validity. See validity.
Economic Determinism: the thesis, as advanced by Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels (1848) – though they did not explicitly use the term – that economic factors underlie all of society’s decisions.
Thus, the social relations specific to a particular mode of production are said to structure social relations between classes and are held to be the base underpinning the legal and political systems. This implies that all political, cultural, and social life can be predicted from the prevailing relations of production.
Ego: generally, an individual’s sense of self – though there are numerous connotations/sub-meanings related to the term. Sigmund Freud (1923) applied something of a different, quite specific meaning to ‘ego’. To avoid confusion, in Integrated SocioPsychology Susan Blackmore’s (1999) term selfplex is preferred as the idea of ‘self’.
Ego Defence Mechanisms: see Selfplex Defence Mechanisms.
Ego State: used in Transactional Analysis, the term is used to describe an individual’s state of mind at any given point of time.
Egocentricism: the inability to see an object or situation from anything but one’s own point of view.
When the RED vMEME is totally dominant in the selfplex, that is when someone is most likely to uninhibited egocentricism.
Elaborative Rehearsal: one of the 2 types of rehearsal identified by Fergus Craik & Robert Lockhart (1972) in their Levels of Processing model of memory. It involves the deep and meaningful analysis of information, rather than simply repeating it over and over.
Electra Complex: Carl Gustav Jung’s (1913) female version of Sigmund Freud’s Oedipus Complex (1899). According to Jung, the young girl in the Phallic Stage desires sexual intimacy with her father, just as Freud’s Oedipal boy wants such relations with his mother.
However, Freud (1920) explicitly rejected Jung’s version because it “seeks to emphasise the analogy between the attitude of the two sexes”. Freud persisted with his own, more complex view that the “feminine Oedipus attitude”, produced by penis envy, leads the young girl to desire having the father’s baby as a compensation for her lack of a penis.
Jung’s championing of the Electra Complex was almost certainly one of the final factors in the complete breakdown in the relationship between Freud and himself. Nonetheless, many notable commentators on psychological theory, who should know better, confuse the issue, when discussing Freud’s theory, by erroneously presenting the Electra Complex, as defined by Jung, as Freud’s concept.
Electroconvulsive (Shock) Therapy (ECT): a form of therapy for mental illness in which brief electrical shocks are usually applied to the non-dominant hemisphere of the patient’s cerebrum.
Emic: a culturally-specific value, philosophy or behaviour.
Emotion Work: is the management of one’s own feelings or “work done in a conscious effort to maintain the well being of a relationship” (Arlie Hochschild, 1979).
Examples of emotion work include showing affection, apologizing after an argument, bringing up problems that need to be addressed in an intimate relationship – or any kind of interpersonal relationship – and making sure the household runs smoothly. Cultural norms often imply that emotion work is reserved for females.
Emotional Labour: the term ‘emotional labour’ was first used by the sociologist Arlie Hochschild (1983) to describe emotional regulation wherein workers are expected to display certain emotions as part of their job, and to promote organisational goals. The intended effects of these emotional displays are on other, targeted people, who can be clients, customers, subordinates or co-workers.
Empiricism: a broad-based philosophical position grounded on the fundamental assumption that all knowledge comes from experience and observable reality, as opposed to logical reasoning or a priori categories.
Encoding: the changing of sensory input into a form or code which can be processed by the memory system.
Encoding Specificity Principle: an explanation for enhanced memory recall.
The concept that memory is best when there is a large overlap between the information available at the time of retrieval and the information in the memory trace.
Endocrine System: governed by the autonomic nervous system, the endocrine system is a system of ductless glands in the body that produce hormones.
Endogenous: to do with internal causes – eg: Endogenous Depression might be the result of hormonal changes.
Endorphin: a neurotransmitter that acts as the body’s natural painkiller by inhibiting the release of substance P, a neurotransmitter involved in the transmission of pain. Endorphins function effectively as natural opiates.
Neurons that release endorphins are activated by the perception of pain.
Enneagramme: reputedly with its roots in Suffiism, the Enneagramme describes 9 different patterns of thought, feeling and action and the relationships between the types. Each of the 9 types is rooted in a specific viewpoint or belief structure that largely determines what is important to a person and how that person interacts with the world to fulfill their hopes and dreams. Very basically, the 9 types are:-
Type 1: Perfectionist – driven to do the right thing
Type 2: Helper – needing to be needed
Type 3: Achiever – efficent, goal-driven and focussed on being a ‘winner’
Type 4: Individualist – craving self-expression and emotional depth
Type 5: Observer – perceptive and capable of synthsesising information in new ways
Type 6: Questionner – vigilant for threats from the environment
Type 7: Adventurer – has a surplus of plans and ideas and is eager for experiences and/or material goods
Type 8: Leader – driven to control self and the environment, capable of both domination and protectiveness
Type 9: Peacemaker – good at seeing all points of view and easily distracted from personal needs and priorities
Personality typing models, such as the Enneagramme, for the most part tend to describe centres of gravity.
The Paris-based L’Institut Français De L’Ennéagramme has been working on a project to explore how Enneagramme typing fits with the vMEMES of Spiral Dynamics. The Article, ‘Spiral Dynamics and The Enneagram’, captures some of their work.
Environment of Evolutionary Adaptiveness: the EAA is the period in our ancestral past when many of the adaptive changes associated with the evolution of human behaviour took place – between 35,000-3,000,000 years ago.
Epigenetic Modification: the influence of environmental factors as to which genes are turned on and off.
Unsurprisingly epigenetic effects tend to increase with age.
Episodic Memory: a subdivision of long-term memory which contains information about personal events – ie: episodes in your life.
Epistemology: the study of knowledge – especially the scope and methods of acquiring knowledge and testing its validity.
Equilibrium: the term is used in the behavioural sciences as a synonym for balance, with several different applications…
The point at which opposing biochemical reactions are stable – ie: homeostasis.
In Jean Piaget’s (1923) theory, the cognitive state whereby the information available to a child (memes) is in balance (at least, temporarily) with the existing schemas.
A state of balance between parts within a social system and/or in relation to its external environment.
According to Vilfredo Pareto (1935), a social system is in equilibrium if, when it is subjected to some modification, a reaction tend to take place, tending to restore it to its previous ‘normal’ state.
Equity Theory: developed originally as a psychological approach to employer-employee relationships by J Stacy Adams 91962), Equity Theory was used by Elaine Walster, G William Walster & Ellen Berscheid (1978) to develop Social Exchange Theory more completely.
In essence Equity Theory proposes that where one partner in a relationship gets significantly less out of the relationship than the other – ie: the relationship is unequitable – then the partner with less will strive to establish/restore a balance.
Ethics: concerns regarding what is acceptable human behaviour in pursuit of certain personal or scientific goals.
The professional bodies in most countries produce ethical guidelines for researchers and practitioners. See also Ethical Issues in Research.
Ethological Approach: the study of animal behaviour in natural environments, emphasising the importance of inherited capacities and responses.
Ethnic Groups: cultural groups – eg: based on race or religion – living within a larger society.
Ethnicity: shared (perceived or actual) racial, linguistic and/or national identity of a social group.
Ethnocentricism: the belief that your own in-group – eg: religious group, nation, gender, etc – is superior to other cultures.
Etics: universals of behaviour.
Eustress: Hans Selye’s (1980) term for low-level positive stress that helps energise and prepare people for important events – eg: first dates, exams, etc.
Evaluation Apprehension: the concern or anxiety felt when being assessed by someone else.
In research this may cause the participants to alter their behaviour so it will be more positively evaluated – effectively a form of demand characteristic.
In terms of the Bystander Effect, it may explain why people sometimes avoid offering help in case their efforts are evaluated negatively.
Evolutionary Psychology: this approach uses Sociobiology as well as social and cognitive factors to explain behaviour in terms of its evolutionary adaptiveness. Increasingly it has come to be dominated by Sociobiology – emphasising the ability to survive and reproduce the individual’s genes in face of changes in the environment.
Exogenous: to do with external causes – eg: Exogenous Depression might be triggered by the death of a loved one or losing your job.
Experiment: research undertaken to investigate causal relationships.
Essentially an experiment tests whether making changes in the independent variable results in changes in the dependent variable.
Experimental Group: in an experiment with an independent groups design the group of participants who experience the independent variable or experimental treatment.
Experimental Hypothesis: see hypothesis.
Experimental Realism: the extent to which an investigation is experienced as a ‘real life’ scenario by participants because it is interesting or attention-grabbing.
Experimental Validity: see validity.
Extended Family Field: a person’s family of origin plus grandparents, in-laws, and other relatives.
External Locus of Control: see Locus of Control.
External Validity: aka ecological validity. See validity.
Extinction: the disappearance of a learned response when stimuli stop being paired (Classical Conditioning) or no reinforcement occurs (Operant Conditioning).
Extraneous Variable: see variable.Extraversion: the terms ‘Introvert’ (somone focussed inward and preoccupied with their own thoughts) and ‘Extravert’ (someone outgoing and frequently the ‘centre of attention’) were coined by Carl Gustav Jung who concluded that these tendencies were essentially innate. Extraversion has been incorporated as a key scale into the Jungian-derived Myers-Briggs Type Indicator psychometric.However, the foremost work on Extraversion is that of Hans J Eysenck who made it one of his biologically-determined Dimensions of Temperament.Integrated SocioPscychology considers the possibility that how introverted or extraverted someone is may influence the manner in which they ascend Clare W Graves Spiral. It may be that introverts tend to ascend more via the self-sacrifice/conformist side and extraverts more by the express-self side.