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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 later.


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 reality.


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 psychology.


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 complex.


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 depression.


electrodermal responding: A recording of the minute electrical activity of the sweat glands on the skin, allowing the inference of an emotional state.


electroencephalogram (EEG): A graphic recording of electrical activity of the brain, usually of the cerebral cortex, but sometimes of lower areas.


emotional support: A sense of being cared for and comforted by other people.


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 vacant chair.


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 training group.


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 or torture.


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 in speech.


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.