race or gender norming The Civil Rights Act of 1991 forbids employers from using different norms or cut-off scores for different groups of people. For example, it would be illegal for a company to set a higher threshold for women than men on their selection test. 122
random assignment Random assignment in an experiment is assignment that is conducted randomly. If an experiment has manipulation between groups, random assignment of participants to experimental groups helps ensure that each group is equivalent. 44
rank order Rank order refers to maintaining one's relative position within a group over time. Between ages 14 and 20, for example, most people become taller. But the rank order of heights tends to remain fairly stable because this form of development affects all people pretty much the same. The tall people at 14 fall generally toward the tall end of the distribution at age 20. The same can apply to personality traits. If people tend to maintain their position on dominance or extraversion relative to the other members of the group over time, then we say that there is high rank order stability to the personality characteristic. Conversely, if people fail to maintain their rank order, then we say that the group has displayed rank order instability or rank order change. 99
rationalization Rationalization is a defense mechanism that involves generating acceptable reasons for outcomes that might otherwise be unacceptable. The goal is to reduce anxiety by coming up with an explanation for some event that is easier to accept than the "real" reason. 301 reaction formation A defense mechanism that refers to an attempt to stifle the expression of an unacceptabl urge; a person may continually display a flurry of behavior that indicates th opposite impulse. Reaction formation makes it possible for psychoanalysts to predict that sometimes people will do exactly the opposite of what you might otherwise think they would do. It also alerts us to be sensitive to instances when a person is doing something in excess. One of the hallmarks of reaction formation is excessive behavior. 301 reactively heritable Reactively heritable traits are secondary consequences of heritable traits. 272
reality principle In psychoanalysis, it is the counterpart of the pleasure principle. It refers to guiding behavior according to the demands of reality, and relies on the strengths of the ego to provide such guidance. 296 reciprocal causality The notion that causality can move in two directions; for example, helping others can lead to happiness, and happiness can lead one to be more helpful to others. 432 reducer-augmenter theory Petrie's reducer-augmenter theory refers to the dimension along which people differ in their reaction to sensory stimulation; some appear to reduce sensory stimulation, some appear to augment stimulation. 400 reinforcement sensitivity theory
Reinforcement sensitivity theory is Gray's biological theory of personality. Based on recent brain function research with animals, Gray constructed a model of human personality based on two hypothesized biological systems in the brain: the Behavioral Activation System (which is responsive to incentives, such as cues for reward, and regulates approach behavior) and the Behavioral Inhibition System (which is responsive to cues for punishment, frustration, and uncertainty). 220 reliability Reliability is the degree to which an obtained measure represents the "true" level of the trait being measured. For example, if a person has a "true" IQ of 115, then a perfectly reliable measure of IQ will yield a score of 115 for that person. Moreover, a truly reliable measure of IQ would yield the same score of 115 each time it was administered to the person. Personality psychologists prefer reliable measures so that the scores accurately reflect each person s true level of the personality characteristic being measured. 41 repeated measurement Repeated measurement is a way to estimate the reliability of a measure. There are different forms of repeated measurement, and hence different versions of reliability. A common procedure is to repeat the same measurement over time, say at an interval of a month apart, for the same sample of persons. If the two tests are highly correlated between the first an second testing, yielding similar scores for most people, then the resulting measure is said to have high test-retest reliability. 41
repression One of the first defens mechanisms discussed by Freud, refers to the process of preventing unacceptable thoughts, feelings, or urges from reaching conscious awareness. 299
resistance A psychoanalytic term, it refers to when a patient's defenses are threatened by a probing psychoanalyst, the patient may unconsciously set up obstacles to progress. This stage of psychoanalysis is called resistance. Resistance signifies that importan unconscious material is coming to the fore. The resistance itself becomes an integral part of the interpretations the analyst offers to the patient. 313 resistance stage The resistance stage is the second stage in Seyle's general adaptation syndrome (GAS). Here the body is using its resources at an above average rate, even though the immediate fight or flight response h subsided. Stress is being resisted, but the effort is making demands on the person's resources and energy. 594 response sets The concept of response sets refers to the tendency of some people to respond to the questions on some basis that is unrelated to the question content. Sometimes this is referred to as non-content responding. One example is the response set of acquiescence or yea saying. This is the tendency to simply agree with the questionnaire items, regardless of the content of those items. 111 responsibility training Life experiences that provide opportunities to learn to behave responsibly, such as having younger siblings to take care of while growing up. Moderates the gender difference in impulsive behaviors associated with need for power. 366
restricted sexual strategy According to Gangestad and Simpson (1990), a woman seeking a high-investing mate would adopt a restricted sexual strategy marked by delayed intercourse and prolonged courtship. This would enable her to assess the man's level of commitment, detect the existence of prior commitments to other women and/or children, and simultaneously signal to the man the woman's sexual fidelity and, hence, assure him of hi paternity of future offspring. 273
reward dependence (RFT) In
Cloninger's tridimensional personality model, the personality trait of reward dependence is associated with low levels of norepinephrine. People high on this trait are persistent, they continue to act in ways that produced reward. They work long hours, put a lot of effort into their work, and will often continue striving after others have given up. 230
right to privacy Perhaps the largest issue of legal concern for employers using personality testing is privacy. The right to privacy in employment settings grows out of the broader concept of the right to privacy. Cases that charge an invasion-of-privacy claim against an employer can be based on the federal constitution, state constitutions and statutes, and common law. 123
rite of passage Some cultures and religions institute a rite of passage ritual, usually around adolescence, which typically is a ceremony that initiates a child into adulthood. After such ceremonies, the adolescent is sometimes given a new name, bestowing a new adult identity. 335 rod and frame test (RFT) Witkin devised an apparatus called the rod and frame test to research the cues that people use in judging orientation in space. The participant sits in a darkened room and is instructed to watch a glowing rod surrounded by a glowing square frame. The experimenter can adjust the tilt of the rod, the frame, and the participant's chair. The participant's task is to adjust the rod by turning a dial so that the rod is perfectly upright. To do this accurately, the participant has to ignore cues in the visual field in which the ro appears. This test measures the personality dimension of fiel dependence-independence. 395 rumination Rumination involves repeatedly focusing on one's symptoms or distress (e.g., "Why do I continue to feel so bad about myself" or "Why doesn't my boss like me?"). Because their ruminations fail to lead to efficacious solutions, according to thi theory, women continue to ruminate. Rumination, according to this theory, is a key contributor to women's greater experience of depressive symptoms. 537
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With all the stresses and strains of modern living, panic attacks are become a common problem for many people. Panic attacks occur when the pressure we are living under starts to creep up and overwhelm us. Often it's a result of running on the treadmill of life and forgetting to watch the signs and symptoms of the effects of excessive stress on our bodies. Thankfully panic attacks are very treatable. Often it is just a matter of learning to recognize the symptoms and learn simple but effective techniques that help you release yourself from the crippling effects a panic attack can bring.