Keith E Rice's Integrated SocioPsychology Blog & Pages

Aligning, integrating and applying the behavioural sciences

Glossary L


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Latent Function:


Learned Helplessness:

Learning Theory: see Behaviourism.

Legitimate Authority: the recognised right of someone to give orders/instructions/commands to another and it to expected that person given the orders/etc will obey them.
Legitimate authority is often symbolised by a uniform – eg: that of a police officer. Or it may be contextual – eg: a teacher may expect students to obey them on the school grounds but is unlikely to have that expecation away from the school.

Levels of Adaptation: terminology I have developed to describe adaptation to changing circumstances:-

  • Nominal Level – concerns alignment of the Identity to the Environment running right through the neurological levels
  • Deeper Level – is to do with how vMEMES shape Values & Beliefs and influence Identity in relation to changes in the Life Conditions in the  Environment

Levels of Data: there are different ways that variables can be measured and behavioural scientists typically group measurements into one of 4 scales:-

  • Nominal data: a frequency count or tally chart of categorical items – eg: the number of students preferring Psychology and the number of students preferring Sociology.
  • Ordinal data: scores in rank order of what’s important and significant -but the differences between each point on the scale is defined. Ordinal scales are typically measures of non-numeric concepts like satisfaction, happiness, discomfort, etc.
  • Interval data: numeric scales in which both the order and the exact differences between the values is known.  There is no absolute zero. Typically, the measurements on the scale are universally standardised – eg: degrees Celsius, seconds-minutes-hours, etc.
  • Ratio data: interval data with an absolute zero.

Graphic copyright © 2020 Quizzma

Life Conditions (in the Environment): in relation to the Gravesian approach, in Integrated SocioPsychology ‘life conditions in the environment’ has a quite specific connotation.
The ‘environment’ is the context in which events occur. This context can be internal – eg: the individual’s own physiology – or external to the individual – eg: familly, workplace, etc, etc. ‘Life conditions’ are what is going on in the pertinent context. Internally, this might be an increase in certain hormone levels. Externally, this could be  a blazing row with one’s partner.

Limbic System: a set of mainly subcortical structures which are represented in both cerebral hemispheres and grouped around the brainstem – as depicted in the graphic below.

Graphic copyright © 2008 Society for Neuroscience

The main structures of the limbic system are:-

  • Olfactory Bulb – receives sensory data direct from the olfactory epithelium of each nasal cavity. It sends olfactory information to be further processed in the amygdala, the orbitofrontal cortex and the hippocampus where it plays a role in emotion, memory and learning.
  • Amygdala – associated with memory, emotion, sleep, arousal and the stress (fight-or-flight) response
  • Hypothalamus – regulates homeostasis in eating and drinking and integrates the activity of the autonomic nervous system, affecting the stress (fight-or-flight) response, emotion, sexual behaviour and motivation
  • Hippocampus – associated with memory and involved in motivation, emotion and learning
  • Cingulate Gyrus – associated with strong emotions such as aggression; it also involved in signalling between the frontal lobes of the cerebral cortex and the caudate nucleus

For many commentators the thalamus is also considered part of the limbic system. The thalamus relays all sensory information (other than olfactory) to the cerebral cortex. It is another area associated with sleep.

Several researchers have associated with the limbic system with self-expression and impulsiveness. Mark Solms (2000) is just one researcher to locate Sigmund Freud’s (1923b) Id in the limbic system while Svenja Caspers et al (2011) have evidence that the neural networks that comprise the warm-coloured vMEMES are primarily centred there. See A Biological Basis for vMEMES.


Locus Coeruleus: a small area of cells in the pons related to the sleep-wake cycle and memory.

Locus of Control: this refers to a person’s perception of personal control over their own behaviour. See Attribution Theory. According to Julian B Rotter (1966), it can be measured along a dimension or scale from ‘high internal’ to ‘low external’…

  • high internal locus – will attribute their behaviour primarily to their own decisions and efforts
  • high external locus – will attribute their behaviour as being caused primarily by fate, luck, other people or circumstances

Rotter found that the direction in which people attributed – ie: which way they directed causality – tended to be consistent, suggesting a possible innate element in the tendency. However, Rotter was also at pains to point out that the strength of the attribution was likely to vary considerably from situation to situation, thus affirming the importance of environmental factors in the attribution process.
The concept of locus of control had actually been put forward slightly earlier by Carl Rogers (1961), initially referring to it as ‘locus of evaluation’.

Logical Levels of Learning: see Bateson Learning Levels.

Long-Term Memory: memory for well-processed information integrated into an individual’s general knowledge store. Such storage is thought to be relatively permanent and of unlimited capacity.

Longitudinal Study: a study that is conducted over a long period of time, thus enabling comparisons of the same group of individuals at different points in chronological time.

A major problem with longitudinal studies often is a high rate of attrition – ie: people dropping out – which reduces reliability at the investigation check points. Another problem with longitudinal studies is that participants are more likely to become aware of the researcher’s aims – with this most likely leading to demand characterisitcs.

Looking Glass Self: a sociological concept that a person’s self grows out of society’s interpersonal interactions and the perceptions of others. The looking-glass self begins at an early age and continues throughout the entirety of a person’s life as one will never stop modifying their self unless all social interactions are ceased.
Charles Cooley (1902) first coined the term but several leading sociologists since have worked with the concept – most notably  King-To Yeung & John Levi Martin (2003) who identified the looking glass self has 3 components:-
We imagine how we must appear to others
We imagine the judgment of that appearance
iii.            We develop our self through the judgments of others