This internal consent feeling is associated with a calm assurance that everything will be okay. It reflects the absence of worry or distress regarding a sexual encounter.

salvation anxiety

anxiety over whether or not a person has obtained salvation, especially referring to Calvinists


Group of people drawn from a population—or larger group of people—that are recruited to participate in a research study.


a mental or cognitive representation that captures general characteristics of a class of episodes, events, or individuals


Stored in long-term memory, schemas help us automatically “perceive, organize, process, and use information,” by guiding “our attention to an environment’s relevant features” (Gazzaniga et al., 2016, p. 280). For example, a schema of what an interaction with a teller at a bank should look like, helps one pay attention to only what does not fit the schema, such as unprofessional behavior by the teller.

scope of justice

the perceived relevance of others at work in the decision over whether to apply the same fairness rules to them that are applicable to us (included) or different fairness rules that are applicable to others (excluded)

screening of passengers by observation techniques

(SPOT) is the training program developed by Professor Ekman in collaboration with Rafi Ron, former chief security officer of the Israeli Airport Authority; it has been introduced by the Transportation Safety Authority (TSA) in the US and the British Aircrafts Authority (BAA) in England; the program aims to use observational techniques to single out individuals for additional inspection based on unusual, anxious or frightened behavior exhibited by passengers at screening checkpoints

Synonyms: SPOT

secological psychology

an area within psychology that investigates how mind and behavior are shaped in part by their natural and social habitats (social ecology), and how natural and social habitats are in turn shaped partly by mind and behavior


the psychological state in which attention is focused inward, on the self, rather than on external environment and stimuli


the individual’s perception of the characteristics of the self such as physical features, personality traits, social roles, skills, goals, values and hobbies

self-concordant goal

refers to a goal that is chosen because the person wants to reach it for reasons that are internal to the person; self-concordant goals are not externally motivated, the goal is not chosen because somebody else wants the person to reach it

self-conscious emotions

Emotions one feels primarily about oneself or one's actions. For example, one feels pride or shame because of one’s achievements or failures.


the ability to control one's emotions, behavior, and desires in order to obtain an overarching reward, or avoid punishment; presumably, some (smaller) reward or punishment is operating in the short term which precludes, or reduces, the later reward or punishment

Synonyms: self-regulation


sharing sensitive information about yourself with another person


the belief that one has the capabilities to execute the courses of actions required to manage prospective situations; unlike efficacy, which is the power to produce an effect (in essence, competence), self-efficacy is the belief (whether or not accurate) that one has the power to produce that effect

The perception that one’s actions can be effective. In a group context, this means the extent to which you believe your actions will make a difference to an outcome determined by the collective effect of the group’s actions, such as raising enough finance to start a public good.


an individual’s overall subjective evaluation of his or her own worth

Self-Objectification Questionnaire

(SOQ; Noll & Fredrikson, 1998) in this questionnaire, participants have to rank 10 body attributes in order of importance to their own self-concept; half of them pertain to physical appearance, and the other half are based of physical competence; positive scores indicate greater self-objectification (i.e., greater emphasis on physical appearance rather than on physical competence)


the state of each element adjusts to the current state of other elements to which it is connected in a dynamical system consisting of inter-connected elements


is perception of the self as an individual or group member (in the context of self-categorization processes)


refers to the self’s executive function, which makes decisions, initiates actions, and in other ways exerts control over both the self and the environment (Baumeister, 1998)

exercise of influence over one's own motivation, thought processes, emotional states and patterns of behavior; it includes the deliberate planning and monitoring of one's cognitive and emotional processes during the undertaking of specific tasks, setting realistic goals for task completion using effective strategies to attain the goal or goals

self-regulatory strength

refers to the internal resources available to inhibit, override or alter responses into goal-directed behaviour (Schmeichel & Baumeister, 2004)


a photograph that one takes of oneself    

self’s executive function

regulates the self in a goal-directed manner (Baumeister, 1998)

semantic priming

semantic priming is an effect in which exposure to a stimulus unconsciously influences responses to a later conceptually related stimulus; semantic priming is assumed to occur because thinking about an idea leads other related ideas to also come to mind; semantic priming is known to influence the speed at which similar words are recognized; just as seeing the word spider presented on a screen makes it easier to recognize the word spider if it is presented a second time, seeing the word spider also makes it easier to recognize words like web, or venom; semantic priming is also known to influence how people interpret ambiguous stimuli; for example, after reading the word spider over and over again a slight brushing sensation against your foot may be interpreted as something about to run up your leg


detection of stimuli using the senses

sequential lineup

lineup procedure in which one lineup member is presented after another; there is no option to go back in the process and once a positive identification has been made, the lineup is stopped; the method is meant to support absolute judgments


the biological features that distinguish male and female members of a species

sexual activity

People define sexual activity differently from study to study. Comprehensive definitions include any behavior that might be sexually arousing, such as making out, genital touching, oral sex, vaginal penetration.

sexual coercion

Tactics, such as pressuring or nagging, to persuade people to engage in unwanted sexual activity.

sexual compliance

Agreeing or consenting to unwanted sexual activity.

sexual imprinting

describes the influence of early imprinting on one’s future mate preferences

sexual orientation

Sexual orientation is defined depending on who a person is physically and emotionally attracted to (for differences on gender, sex, sexual/romantic attraction and sexual orientation see


Aversive emotion that often goes hand in hand with a feeling of inadequacy and that we feel when our self-image (in the broadest sense) does not match the image that other people or we have of ourselves due to certain circumstances (e.g., specific behavior).


shared perception

perception is the process by which we take in and understand our surroundings. A shared perception is a perception that two or more people agree upon, they have a shared understanding of some object or event

sickle cell disease

or sickle-cell anemia is a hereditary disorder that causes the red blood cells to be malformed (i.e., in a sickle shape); this disease leads to oxygen deprivation of cells in the body, resulting in a decreased lifespan of 40-50 years


the tendency for people to like similar others, as typically studied by psychologists


occur through simulators, which store information about a specific event in its absence; for example, when we think about being away from others, our skin temperature may decrease, because of the cold and chilly feeling that results from social exclusion (see also Barsalou, 1999)

simulator sickness

Physical symptoms such as nausea and dizziness that can occur when using virtual reality glasses

simultaneous lineup

lineup procedure in which all lineup members are presented at once; the method is meant to support relative judgments

situational strength

cues provided by environmental forces regarding the desirability of potential behaviors within particular situations; strong situations (situations where situational strength is high) the situation will dictate your behavior; weak situations (situations where situational strength is low) are characterized by little structure and therefore allow more ambiguity with respect to what behaviors to perform

social climate

general term for shared perceptions within an organization regarding the general work environment, referred to as organizational climate, or a specific domain, e.g. climate for service, safety climate, or job insecurity climate

social cognition

the study of how people think about, represent, and make sense of their social environment

social comparison

the process of evaluating oneself by comparing one’s abilities or opinions with those of similar others

individuals evaluate their own opinions and abilities by comparing themselves to others for the purpose of gaining accurate self-evaluations

the method by which an individual determines his or her own worth based upon an evaluation of others

social construct

a phenomenon, idea or category that has social or cultural origins

social contagion of memory

The spread of a memory from one person to others through verbal interaction

social coordination

refers to the coordination of one’s actions with the actions of another person in completing a task together (Reis & Collins, 2004); all social activities require coordination and the efficiency of this coordination to a great extend influences the performance (Kelley, Holmes, Kerr, Reis, Rusbult, & Van Lange, 2003)

social Darwinism

was a theory put forward near the end of the 19th century that suggested competition between individuals, groups, and cultures naturally leads to the social and genetic evolution of those societies; based on Darwin’s notion of "survival of the fittest", some advocates of Social Darwinism argued that members of "less advanced" cultures were genetically inferior; this theory became the foundation for the Eugenics Movement

social dilemmas

situations in which short-term individual interests are at odds with long-term collective interests

A situation involving a conflict between individual and collective interests

Synonyms: social dilemma

Social Exchange Theory

a social psychological and sociological perspective that explains social change and stability as a process of negotiated exchanges between parties; social exchange theory posits that all human relationships are formed by the use of a subjective cost-benefit analysis and the comparison of alternatives

social grooming behaviors

an activity in which members of a group clean one another’s fur; the main benefits of the activity are social – strengthening the bond between the grooming partners – rather than hygienic

social group

We belong to multiple groups, either by birth or by choice. Examples of social group memberships are our religious and political affiliations, our gender, our ethnicity, the football team we support and the local community in which we live.

Synonyms: social groups

social identity

is that part of individuals` self-concept that derived from their "knowledge of their membership in a social group (or groups) together with the value and the emotional significance of that membership" (Tajfel, 1981, p. 255)

We don’t identify and act just as individuals but as members of social groups. For example, we belong to a family, a community, a nation and the planet. Social identity theory (and later self-categorisation theory) proposes that these different group memberships may be made salient at different times, and that we tend to behave in ways that benefit the group rather than the individual.

Synonyms: social identities

Social Identity Theory

posits that people have a need for positive social identity which requires them to establish a positively valued distinctiveness for their own group compared to other groups (Turner & Reynolds, 2003)

social image

the image of a person in a group; it is the overall evaluation that the others give about the characteristics of the self

social loafing

Reduced motivation in group tasks. Social loafing occurs when group members have the feeling that their individual contribution to the group task is not identifiable and has no strong impact. Social loafing harms group performance.

social media

·      technology that allows users to share personal information and other forms of expression via virtual communities

social neuroscience

an interdisciplinary field that uses techniques and methods from cognitive neuroscience to investigate questions about brain mechanisms underlying social processes

social norm

largely unwritten group-held beliefs about how members should behave in a given context

When deciding how to behave in different social contexts, we look to others to see what are normal or acceptable behaviours. These standards or rules about how to behave are social norms. Social norms should be divided into two types: descriptive norms describe what most people do; and prescriptive or injunctive norms convey what behaviour is morally right.

Synonyms: social norms

social support

refers to information from others that one is loved and cared for, esteemed and valued, and part of a network of communication and mutual obligations. It is one of the effective ways by which people can cope with stressful events

social system

vrefers to a social entity composed of more than one part; these parts in turn represent the smallest social unit in the system and they are in a particular relation to one another; a social system can also be connected to other social systems

social validation

the extent to which people feel that their opinions are right, justified and shared among other people


the process of inheriting and disseminating norms, customs and ideologies, providing an individual with the skills and habits necessary for participating within his or her own society

the process whereby an individual learns to adjust to a group (or society), internalize its norms and behave in a manner approved by the group (or society)

socio-ecological approach

an approach to psychology (the science of mind and behavior) that investigates how mind and behavior are shaped in part by their natural and social habitats and how natural and social habitats are in turn shaped partly by mind and behavior (Oishi & Graham, 2010, p. 1)

socio-ecological psychology

an area within psychology that investigates how mind and behavior are shaped in part by their natural and social habitats (social ecology), and how natural and social habitats are in turn shaped partly by mind and behavior 


source derogation

insulting the source of a persuasive message, dismissing their expertise or trustworthiness, or otherwise rejecting their validity; used as a strategy for resisting persuasion 

source monitoring

One’s ability to identify the origin of remembered information

spoiled pleasure

the reduction in happiness that gains from enacting desires that conflict with goals compared to enacting non-conflicting desires 

spontaneous false memories

internally generated false memories

Stage of memory

Memories involve three distinct processes: 1) encoding, in which we take in and process the information, 2) consolidation (also known as storage), in which we convert this information from short-term to long-term knowledge, and 3) retrieval, in which we recall the previously-learned information

stereotype lift

a boost in performance caused by comparing oneself to a negatively stereotyped group (Walton & Cohen, 2003)

stereotype threat

a situational threat whereby an individual is concerned with being viewed as conforming to a negative stereotype associated with their group ( Steele, 1997)

is being at risk of confirming, as self-characteristic, a negative stereotype about one's group. (Steele & Aronson, 1995)


are beliefs that result from thinking about people categorically; traits attributed to all members of a social group such as Whites or Blacks without considering that some members of that group may not possess those traits

Synonyms: stereotype


Difficult to define and perhaps context dependent, it is generally any sensory event that has the potential to elicit a reaction (response) from an organism, like a flash of light or a sound (for a detailed analysis, see Gibson, 1960).

stroop effect

the finding that we automatically read words that are presented to us, even if our task does not require reading the word

structural information

non-verbal visual cues represented by facial or body features, or generally appearance


a small goal that will make you achieve part of your superordinate goal; subgoals help you to cut your plans into pieces and attaining your superordinate goal step-by-step

subjective well-being

an individual's cognitive and affective evaluations of his or her life

suggestion-induced false memories

false memories that occur in response to external pressure or misinformation

suggestive prompt

Interview questions that coerce the interviewee to respond accordingly to what the interviewer wants.

supernatural agent

an agent that possess abilities that exceed the intuitively expected limitations or normal agents

superordinate goal

the goal you want to reach in the end, your main goal; superordinate goals may consist of several subgoals

superordinate identity

An identity that encompasses several subordinate groups, such as a national identity that includes all regional identities (such as Londoners, Northerners, etc in the UK). We are able to identify with both the subordinate and the superordinate group simultaneously, such as being a British Muslim, where Muslims are an international group.

Synonyms: superordinate identities

symbolic racism

refers to disliking a group, while simultaneously believing that egalitarianism is a virtue; prejudiced behavior might be exacerbated for such people in situations that remind them of the others’ perceived shortcomings, and attenuated in situations that remind them of their belief that we’re all part of the great siblinghood of homo sapien sapien


a neurological condition in which a perception in one sense leads to a sensation in a different sense, or a different aspect of the same sense


temporal, rhythmic and smoothly meshed coordination between conversants