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Home Hierarchy of needs
Maslow's hierarchy of needs describes why and how we are naturally motivated towards psychological good health. We are driven towards psychological good health because of our need for personal growth. To attain all that we can become as a person we first have to satisfy our deficiency needs in the hierarchy. If able to do so we then turn our attention to the satisfaction of our growth needs. The ultimate growth need is called self actualisation.

Our body's natural state is one of internal balance or homeostasis. Regards flight or flight, when the danger is over the parasympathetic branch of our autonomic nervous system, antagonistic to the sympathetic branch, returns our body to its more natural state of homeostasis, or internal balance. Imagine what would happen without this!

Hormones are chemicals produced in one area of cells (or organ), which act at another place (cells or organs) of the body. Hormones get around via our blood stream. Hormones have five functions:

  • They help maintain homeostasis and maintenance of internal bodily conditions
  • They prompt growth and development
  • They are essential for reproduction
  • They allow us to produce, store and use energy
  • They are related to a range of human behaviours

Interestingly hormone secretion is usually controlled by negative feedback viz. Glucagon is released from the pancreas when our blood glucose levels drop. Glucagon stimulates cells to synthesis glucose from amino acids and glycerol. Glucagon stimulates cells to breakdown glycogen to glucose. Rising blood glucose levels inhibits the release of Glucagon from the pancreas.

Hovland, Janis and Kelley (1953)
Hovland, Janis and Kelley (1953) have shown that the source (the person making the communication) is more likely to be effective if that person is seen as trustworthy, or an expert in that field. The motives of the source is also important. Walster, Aronson and Abrahams (1966) demonstrated that a person who argued for a position against their own best interest was seen as more credible (and hence more influential) than a person who argued for a position in their own best interests (resulting in little influence over others).

The message itself in a persuasive communication can be looked at in two main ways: first, fear appeals: second, organisation of the message.

Are strong or weak fear appeals more effective in changing attitudes? It depends. People high in self-esteem are more likely to be influenced a long time after a high fear appeal. Leventhal (1970) showed that smokers shown a 'high fear' film on lung cancer were found to smoke fewer five months later than a group shown a low fear film. The organisation of the message has been investigated looking at one-sided or two-sided arguments and the order of presentation of information

The effectiveness of one- or two-sided arguments depends on the nature of the audience, or target of communication. If the audience already believes in the position being argued, then a one-sided presentation is effective. However, if the audience is opposed to the position, a two-sided, rather than a one-sided argument is more likely to produce attitude change.

Humanistic Approach
An approach in psychology that emphases the importance of self, and self-image to good psychological health.

Humanistic psychotherapy
Any psychotherapy is the application of theory to clinical practice. Humanistic psychotherapy is therefore the application of humanistic theory. Humanistic theory is largely derived from the work of Abraham Maslow. It's application in clinical practice is attributed to his fellow co-founder of the humanistic approach Carl Rogers.

Human nervous system
Our nervous system consists of our central nervous system, the brain and spinal cord, and our peripheral nervous system.

The hypothalamus is situated below the thalamus and posterior to the optic chiasma. It is an immensely important part of our brain that regulates body temperature, blood pressure, heartbeat, metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, and sugar levels in the blood. Through direct attachment to the pituitary gland, the hypothalamus also regulates hormonal secretions. The role of the hypothalamus is also important to our ability to experience pain and pleasure, and is involved in emotions, such as fear and rage, and in sexual behaviours. Despite its numerous vital functions, the hypothalamus in humans accounts for only 1/300 of total brain weight, and is about the size of an almond. Structurally, it is joined to the thalamus; the two work together to monitor the sleep-wake cycle.

Hypotheses are the plural of hypothesis. A hypothesis is a testable statement. All psychological research, no matter the design adopted will have a hypothesis.

Hypothetical construct(s)
something that does not exist in reality is called a hypothetical construct. The psychoanalytic approach is littered with hypothetical constructs such as id, ego, superego, libido etc. The existence of a hypothetical construct is impossible to support scientifically. Scientific support for much of what the psychoanalytic approach is about is lacking.

In the cognitive approach hypothetical constructs are perception, attention, language, memory and thinking. They are non-tangible as they occur in our mind, and don't therefore exist in reality.

Hysteria is a medical condition with no physical (medical) cause. The cause of the condition is psychological. In reports of hysterical blindness, mutism or paralysis, the patient when examined has no damage, disease or accident to their visual apparatus, ability to vocalise, or spinal cord. A major trauma has caused them to develop their hysteria. Read Regeneration by Booker Prize winner Pat Barker to find out more.
Dyslexia and Myers-Irlen
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Dyslexia & Myers-Irlen syndrome

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