rapid eye movement (REM) sleep: refers to the phase of sleep, characterised by eye movements and dreaming. In adults, REM sleep alternates with other periods of sleep (non-REM sleep) over a 9O-minute cycle. REM sleep is also accompanied by an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, and faster and more irregular breathing patterns.
ratio data/scale: an interval scale that has a true zero point (eg. temperature).
rational: consistent with or based on or using reason; "rational behavior".
reaction formation: a defence mechanism whereby a person a behaviour is displayed that is the opposite of a forbidden impulse. An example would be a man who deals with his homosexual feelings by displaying external resentment towards homosexuals.
recentring: in Gestalt theory, developing an alternative ?a target="_blank" href="http://www.itseducation.asia/psychology/m.htm#mental_set">mental set?for a situation, such as when trying to solve a problem.
recidivism: reverting back to crime, for instance after being released from prison.
reciprocal altruism: in evolutionary psychology, the concept that individuals performance altruistic behaviour if the expected benefit of future help from the strangers surpasses the short-term cost of helping.
reconstructive memory: an account of piecing together and reassembling stored information during recall, and stored knowledge, expectations and beliefs are used to fill gaps and produce a coherent memory representation.
relapse: return to drug use by a user who has previously recovered. Alternative definition: The symptoms that the medicine was going to cure returns when one stops taking the medicine and sometimes extra much so during the time just after one has gone off the medicine.
related t-test: a parametric inferential statistical test. Used with interval or ratio data, a repeated measures design (or matched pairs), to investigate any difference in the effect each level of the independent variable has on the dependent variable.
reliability: a measure of consistency, to represent the degree to which replications of a test or method produces similar data scores.
research: the process of gaining knowledge, either by an examination of appropriate theories or through empirical data. In psychology, the term is used to refer to an investigative process such as the experiment or the case study.
responder bias (participant reactivity): Arial"> tendency of a participant to produce biased responses as a result of wanting to appear socially desirable or to be in line with what the experimenter wants.
reticular formation: a diffuse network of nerve fibres which runs through the brain stem and limbic system, with connections both up to the cortex and down to the spinal cord; that alerts the cerebral cortex to incoming sensory signals and serves to regulate arousal levels, maintain consciousness and awakening from sleep.
retina: the light sensitive part of the eye, that is comprised of three layers of neural tissue, including photoreceptors that convert light into neural responses to be passed to the brain via the optic nerve.
retrospective study: a study which assesses the impact of early experience on later development looking back from the time of the specified effect to the early experience.
reward: any event which is pleasurable or satisfying to the organism (for example, food to a hungry animal)
risky shift: refers to the fact that people tend to make riskier decisions when they are members of a group than they would if they made the same decision independently.
Rogers (1902-1987): was one of the original founders of the humanistic perspective. His theories encompassed the importance of unconditional and conditional positive regard in development of the 'self concept' and 'conditions of worth' set by others. His work has been applied to a range of domains, particularly in therapy through his development of 'client-centred' (now named 'person-centred' therapy.
rods (and cones): a type of receptor cell found in the retina of the eye. Rods are critical for sight during dim illumination, whereas cones are more active in good light conditions. Individuals who lack rods (or have rods that don't function) suffer from night blindness, and cannot see properly in dim light.
role conflict: a situation where an individual occupies two roles at the same time, where each role is incompatible to the expectations of the other.
Rorschach test: a type of projective test that consists of ten bilaterally symmetrical inkblots. Participants responses and interpretations are assumed to reveal of various characteristics such as emotional responsiveness and personality.
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