Dictionary of Terms


g factor According to Spearman, a factor of intelligence that is common to all intellectual tasks; includes apprehension of experience, eduction of relations, and eduction of correlates.

Ganglion Cell A neuron in the retina that receives information from photoreceptors by means of bipolar cells, and from which axons proceed through the optic nerves to the brain.

Gender Identity Oneís private sense of being male or female.

Gender Role Cultural expectations about the ways in which men and women should think and behave.

Gender Stereotypes Beliefs about differences in the behaviors, abilities, and personality traits of males and females.

General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) The model proposed by Selye to describe the bodyís adaptation to chronic exposure to severe stressors. The body passes through an orderly sequence of three physiological stages: alarm, resistance, and exhaustion.

Generalization In classical conditioning, CRs elicited by stimuli that resemble the CS used in training. In operant conditioning, the occurrence of responding when a stimulus similar (but not identical) to the discriminative stimulus is present.

Genes Small units of chromosomes that direct the synthesis of proteins and enzymes.

Genetic Counseling A form of counseling in which people receive information regarding their family history of genetic disorders and the liklihood that they or their children may have a genetic disorder.

Genetics The study of the genetic makeup of organisms and how it influences their physical and behavioral characteristics.

Genital Stage The final of Freudís psychosexual stages, during which the adolescent develops adult sexual desires.

Genotype An organismís genetic makeup.

Gestalt Psychology A movement is psychology that emphasized that cognitive processes could be understood by studying their organization, not their elements.

Gestalt Therapy A form of therapy emphasizing the unity of mind and body by teaching the client to "get in touch" with unconscious bodily sensations and emotional feelings.

Glial Cell A cell of the central nervous system that provides support for neurons and supplies them with some essential chemicals.

Glucocorticoid A chemical, such as cortisol, that influences the metabolism of glucose, the main energy source of the body.

Glucostatic Hypothesis The hypothesis that hunger is caused by a low level or availability of glucose, a condition that is monitored by specialized sensory neurons.

Glycogen An insoluble carbohydrate that can be synthesized from glucose or converted to it; used to store nutrients.

Good Continuation A Gestalt law of organization; given two or more interpretations of elements that form the outline of the figure, the simplest interpretation will be preferred.

Gray Matter The portions of the central nervous system that are abundant in cell bodies of neurons rather than axons.

Ground A visual stimulus that is perceived as a formless background against which objects are seen.

Group A collection of individuals who generally have common interests and goals.

Group Polarization The tendency for the initial decision of a group to become exaggerated during the discussion preceding a decision.

Group Psychotherapy Therapy in which two or more clients meet simultaneously with a therapist, discussing problems within a supportive and understanding environment.

Groupthink The tendency to avoid dissent in the attempt to achieve group consensus in the course of decision making.

Gustation The sense of taste.

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