On this day in 1964, Sweden issued a postage stamp featuring a portrait of Ivan Pavlov. The Russian physiologist left his mark on psychology by discovering the conditioned reflex during his research on the digestive systems of dogs. His work had an important influence on the development of psychology and behaviorism in particular. Other awards for his work included an appointment to the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1901 and the Nobel Prize in Physiology in 1904.
Definition: The somatic nervous system is composed of the nerves that connect the sensory organs, the skeletal muscles, and the skin. It plays an important role in the peripheral nervous system by carrying sensory and motor information to and from the central nervous system. Sensory information gathered from touch, hearing, and sight are processed by this system and all voluntary movements of the body are controlled by the somatic system.
Learn more about how this important part of the nervous system works in this overview of the somatic nervous system.
- Peripheral Nervous System
- Central Nervous System
- Overview of the Nervous System and Endocrine System
More Psychology Definitions: The Psychology Dictionary
If you like solving real-world problems and finding practical applications for psychological knowledge, then you might be interested in the field known as engineering psychology. This growing area of psychology focuses on enhancing human abilities by improving things such as workplace environments, technology, and equipment.
Engineering psychologists often work for private companies, but they can also be employed by universities or government agencies. Some even work as freelance consultants.
So what exactly does an engineering psychologist do? The answer often depends on exactly the specialty area in which the individual is employed. For example, an engineering psychologist who specializes in product design might work to create safer, easier-to-use products. Other specialty areas include aerospace, human-computer interaction, and workplace safety.
Learn more about the job duties, educational requirements, and average salaries in this overview of a career as an engineering psychologist.
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Did You Know: On this day in 1895, Anna Freud was born. She was the youngest daughter of famed psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and she went on to become a prominent child psychoanalyst. Her many contributions to psychology included expanding the concept of the ego's defense mechanisms and founding the Hampstead Child Therapy Center in England.
Learn more about her life and work in this brief Anna Freud biography.
In psychology, the term obedience refers to performing an action under the orders of another person. While it is related to concepts such as compliance and conformity, obedience differs in a number of important ways. One notable difference is that conformity involves altering behavior in order to fit in or go along with the rest of the group, while obedience involves doing something because someone else told you to.
Learn more about this topic in this overview of obedience.
Whether you're hosting a big family get-together or visiting other family members, the Thanksgiving holiday can be a time of stress and tension. Even your best-laid plans can fall apart in the face of last-minute problems or heated arguments between family members. So what can you do to minimize your stress and help ease tensions during the holiday?
The first step is to have realistic expectations. If you are aiming for perfection, you are bound to find yourself frustrated and angry when things inevitably fall short. This doesn't just include your expectations of the meal itself, but also of how other people behave during their visit. If your Great-Aunt Edna always complains about something, don't be surprised when she starts issuing criticisms. Instead, focus on keeping your own spirits high and setting the tone for how the mood should be during the holiday season. You might not be able to change your Aunt's behavior, but you can still keep your own mood upbeat.
Don't forget to enlist the help of others. Ask family members to assist you in planning, setting up, cooking, or other important duties. If necessary, ask a few trusted family members to help you run interference between other guests who might not get along.
If you need some more tips on how to manage holiday stress, be sure to check out these great ideas from About.com's Stress Management site:
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
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Did You Know: In 1970, authorities discovered a 13-year-old girl who had been raised in almost total isolation. Weighing a mere 59-pounds, the girl was largely silent and unable to talk. A team was soon set to the task of trying to rehabilitate the child, who became known as Genie in order to protect her privacy. The case soon became a prime example of the importance of critical periods in language development. Was Genie ever able to learn language or was it too late?
Learn more about Genie's story.
Generativity versus stagnation is the penultimate stage in Erik Erikson's eight-stage theory of human development. According to Erikson, this stage occurs during middle adulthood between the ages of about 40 and 65. People in this stage are focused on nurturing or creating things that will outlast them. Feeling useful and contributing to society are important at this stage. Working and participating in the community are just two ways that people forge a sense of purpose during this period of development.
Learn more about this stage of psychosocial development in this overview of generativity versus stagnation.
Most types of writing in psychology require the inclusion of a title page. The title page contains just a small amount of information, but it is still a critical part of your paper. It represents the "face" of your work and conveys the essential information of your paper's topic, author, and school affiliation. Since the title page is the first page that your instructor and other readers will see, it is important this page is properly formatted, includes all the necessary information, and offers a clear representation of the topic of your paper.
This page can also be one of the easiest places to lose points if you fail to follow the format required by your class instructor. Find more information in this article about writing a title page in APA format.
Learn more about some of the basic rules of APA format and check out a few examples:
Psychology students should also consider picking up a copy of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association or another book such as the Concise Rules of APA Style.
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According to a report from the National Center for Education Statistics, there were 90,000 bachelor's degrees in psychology awarded during the 2006-2007 school year. During the same year, there were 20,000 master's degrees and 5,000 doctorate degrees awarded in psychology.