a b c d e f g h i k l m n o p r s t u
v w z
factitious disorders: Disorders in which the individual’s physical
or psychological symptoms appear under voluntary control and are adopted
merely to assume the role of a sick person. The disorder can also involve
a parent producing a disorder in a child and is then called factitious
disorder by proxy or Munchausen syndrome.
false hope syndrome: A tendency for the initial positive results
of attempts at weight loss to foster an overly positive tendency to pursue
unrealistic weight loss goals, resulting eventually in profound disappointment.
falsifiability: The extent to which a scientific assertion is
amenable to systematic probes, any one of which could negate the scientist’s
familiar: In witchcraft, a supernatural spirit often embodied
in an animal and at the service of a person.
family functioning: The adjustment of the family system as a whole
in terms of the family environment and performance of assigned roles to
family interaction method: A procedure for studying family behaviour
by observing family members’ interactions in a structured laboratory situation.
family method: A research strategy in behaviour genetics in which
the frequency of a trait or of abnormal behaviour is determined in relatives
who have varying percentages of shared genetic background.
family systems approach: A general approach to etiology and treatment
that focuses on the complex interrelationships within families.
family therapy: A form of group therapy in which members of a
family are helped to relate better to one another.
fear drive: In the Mowrer–Miller theory, an unpleasant internal
state that impels avoidance. The necessity to reduce a fear drive can
form the basis for new learning.
fear of performance: Being overly concerned with one’s behaviour
during sexual contact with another, postulated by Masters and Johnson
as a major factor in sexual dysfunction.
fear response: In the Mowrer–Miller theory, a response to a threatening
or noxious situation that is covert and unobservable but that is assumed
to function as a stimulus to produce measurable physiological changes
in the body and observable overt behaviour.
feedforward mechanisms: Anticipatory, regulatory responses made
in anticipation of a drug that enables us to anticipate drug effects before
female orgasmic disorder: A recurrent and persistent delay or absence
of orgasm in a woman during sexual activity adequate in focus, intensity,
and duration; in many instances the woman may experience considerable
female sexual arousal disorder: Formally called frigidity, the
inability of a female to reach or maintain the lubrication–swelling stage
of sexual excitement or to enjoy a subjective sense of pleasure or excitement
during sexual activity.
fetal alcohol syndrome: Retarded growth of the developing fetus
and infant; cranial, facial, and limb anomalies; and mental retardation
caused by heavy consumption of alcohol by the mother during pregnancy.
fetishism: Reliance on an inanimate object for sexual arousal.
first-rank symptoms: In schizophrenia, specific delusions and
hallucinations proposed by Schneider as particularly important for its
more exact diagnosis.
fixation: In psychoanalytic theory, the arrest of psychosexual
development at a particular stage through too much or too little gratification
at that stage.
flashback: An unpredictable recurrence of psychedelic experiences
from an earlier drug trip.
flat affect: A deviation in emotional response wherein virtually
no emotion is expressed whatever the stimulus, emotional expressiveness
is blunted, or a lack of expression and muscle tone is noted in the face.
flight of ideas: A symptom of mania that involves a rapid shift
in conversation from one subject to another with only superficial associative
flooding: A behaviour therapy procedure in which a fearful person
is exposed to what is frightening, in reality or in the imagination, for
extended periods of time and without opportunity for escape.
follow-up study: A research procedure whereby individuals observed
in an earlier investigation are contacted at a later time for further
forced rape: The legal term for rape, forced sexual intercourse
or other sexual activity with another person. Statutory rape is
sexual intercourse between an adult male and someone who is under the
age of consent, as fixed by local statute.
forced-choice item: A format of a personality inventory in which
the response alternatives for each item are equated for social desirability.
forensic psychiatry or psychology: The branch of psychiatry or
psychology that deals with the legal questions raised by disordered behaviour.
fragile X syndrome: Malformation (or even breakage) of the X chromosome
associated with moderate mental retardation. Symptoms include large, underdeveloped
ears, a long, thin face, a broad nasal root, and enlarged testicles in
males; many individuals show attention deficits and hyperactivity.
free association: A key psychoanalytic procedure in which the
patient is encouraged to give free rein to his or her thoughts and feelings,
verbalizing whatever comes into the mind without monitoring its content.
The assumption is that over time, repressed material will come forth for
examination by the patient and psychoanalyst.
freebase: The most potent part of cocaine, obtained by heating
the drug with ether.
free-floating anxiety: Continual anxiety not attributable to any
specific situation or reasonable danger. See generalized
frontal lobe: The forward or upper half of each cerebral hemisphere,
in front of the central sulcus, active in reasoning and other higher mental
fugue: See dissociative
functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI): Modification of
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) which allows researchers to take pictures
of the brain so quickly that metabolic changes can be measured, resulting
in a picture of the brain at work rather than its structure alone.
functional social support: The quality of a person’s relationships,
for example, a good versus a distressed marriage. Contrast with structural