a b c d e f g h i k l m n o p r s t u
v w z
echolalia: The immediate repetition of the words of others, often
found in autistic children. In delayed
echolalia this inappropriate echoing takes place hours or weeks
eclecticism: In psychology, the view that more is to be gained
by employing concepts and techniques from various theoretical systems
than by restricting oneself to a single approach.
ecological momentary assessment (EMA): Form of self-observation
involving collection of data in real time (e.g., diaries) regarding thoughts,
moods, and stressors.
Ecstasy: A relatively new hallucinogen that is chemically similar
to mescaline and the amphetamines.
ego: In psychoanalytic theory, the predominantly conscious part
of the personality, responsible for decision making and for dealing with
ego analysis: An important set of modifications of classical psychoanalysis,
based on a conception of the human being as having a stronger, more autonomous
ego with gratifications independent of id satisfactions. Sometimes called
ego analysts: Those who practice ego analysis.
ego-alien: Foreign to the self, such as a compulsion.
ego-dystonic homosexuality: According to DSM-III, a disorder of
people who are persistently dissatisfied with their homosexuality and
wish instead to be attracted to members of the opposite sex.
egoistic suicide: As defined by Durkheim, self-annihilation committed
because the individual feels extreme alienation from others and from society.
Electra complex: See Oedipus
electrocardiogram: A recording of the electrical activity of the
heart, made with an electrocardiograph.
electroconvulsive therapy (ECT): A treatment that produces a convulsion
by passing electric current through the brain. Though an unpleasant and
occasionally dangerous procedure, it can be useful in alleviating profound
electrodermal responding: A recording of the minute electrical
activity of the sweat glands on the skin, allowing the inference of an
electroencephalogram (EEG): A graphic recording of electrical
activity of the brain, usually of the cerebral cortex, but sometimes of
emotional support: A sense of being cared for and comforted by
empathy: Awareness and understanding of anotherís feelings and
thoughts. See primary empathy
and advanced accurate empathy.
empty-chair technique: A Gestalt therapy procedure for helping
the client become more aware of denied feelings; the client talks to important
people or to feelings as though they were present and seated in a nearby
encephalitis: Inflammation of brain tissue caused by a number
of agents, the most significant being several viruses carried by insects.
encephalitis lethargica: Known as sleeping sickness, a form of
encephalitis that occurred early in this century and was characterized
by lethargy and prolonged periods of sleeping.
encopresis: A disorder in which, through faulty control of the
sphincters, the person repeatedly defecates in his or her clothing after
an age at which continence is expected.
encounter group: See sensitivity
endocrine gland: Any of a number of ductless glands that release
hormones directly into the blood or lymph. The secretions of some endocrine
glands increase during emotional arousal.
endogenous: Attributable to internal causes.
endorphins: Opiates produced within the body; they may have an
important role in the processes by which the body builds up tolerance
to drugs and is distressed by their withdrawal.
enuresis: A disorder in which, through faulty control of the bladder,
the person wets repeatedly during the night (nocturnal enuresis) or during
the day after an age at which continence is expected.
enzyme: A complex protein produced by the cells to act as a catalyst
in regulating metabolic activities.
epidemiology: The study of the frequency and distribution of illness
in a population.
epilepsy: An altered state of consciousness accompanied by sudden
changes in the usual rhythmical electrical activity of the brain.
epinephrine: A hormone (a catecholamine) secreted by the medulla
of the adrenal gland; its effects are similar, but not identical, to those
of stimulating the sympathetic nerves. It causes an increase in blood
pressure, inhibits peristaltic movements, and liberates glucose from the
liver. Also called adrenaline.
erogenous: Capable of giving sexual pleasure when stimulated.
Eros (libido): Freudís term for the life-integrating instinct or
force of the id, sometimes equated with sexual drive. Compare Thanatos.
essential hypertension: A psychophysiological disorder characterized
by high blood pressure that cannot be traced to an organic cause. Over
the years it causes degeneration of small arteries, enlargement of the
heart, and kidney damage.
estrogen: A female sex hormone produced especially in the ovaries
that stimulates the development and maintenance of the secondary sex characteristics,
such as breast enlargement.
etiological validity: See validity.
etiology: All the factors that contribute to the development of
an illness or disorder.
eugenics: The field concerned with improving the hereditary qualities
of the human race through social control of mating and reproduction.
eustress: A term coined by Hans Selye to refer to pleasant stress
arising from environmental conditions.
evidence-based treatment: Treatments and interventions that have
been shown to be effective according to controlled experimental research.
ex post facto analysis: In the correlational method of
research, an attempt to reduce the third-variable problem by picking people
who are matched on characteristics that may be confounds.
excitement phase: As applied by Masters and Johnson, the first
stage of sexual arousal, which is initiated by any appropriate stimulus.
executive aphasia: See aphasia.
executive functioning: The cognitive capacity to plan how to do
a task, how to devise strategies, and how to monitor oneís performance.
exhibitionism: Marked preference for obtaining sexual gratification
by exposing oneís genitals to an unwilling observer.
existential analysis: See existential therapy.
existential therapy: An insight therapy that emphasizes choice
and responsibility to define the meaning of oneís life. In contrast with
humanistic therapy, it tends to be less cheerful or sanguine in outlook,
focusing more on the anxiety that is inherent to confronting oneís ultimate
aloneness in the world.
exogenous: Attributable to external causes.
exorcism: The casting out of evil spirits by ritualistic chanting
experiment: The most powerful research technique for determining
causal relationships, requiring the manipulation of an independent variable,
the measurement of a dependent variable, and the random assignment of
participants to the several different conditions being investigated.
experimental effect: A statistically significant difference between
two groups experiencing different manipulations of the independent variable.
experimental hypothesis: What the investigator assumes will happen
in a scientific investigation if certain conditions are met or particular
variables are manipulated.
expressed emotion (EE): In the literature on schizophrenia, the
amount of hostility and criticism directed from other people to the patient,
usually within a family.
expressive language disorder: Difficulties expressing oneself
external validity: See validity.
extinction: The elimination of a classically conditioned response
by the omission of the unconditioned stimulus. In operant conditioning,
the elimination of the conditioned response by the omission of reinforcement.
extradural hematoma: Hemorrhage and swelling between the skull
and dura mater when a meningeal artery is ruptured by a fractured bone
of the skull.