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What is... the five-factor model of personality

What Is… The Five-Factor Model of Personality (The Big Five)

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms. This week’s term is the five-factor model of personality. These factors are often referred to as the Big Five. Personality traits are characteristics that are stable across time and across contexts. The five-factor model includes five personality trait dimensions. These are: …

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Insights into psychology series: What is apophenia

What Is… Apophenia (Finding Patterns Where None Exist)

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms. This week’s term is apophenia. Apophenia is a type of cognitive bias involving the tendency to find patterns where they don’t actually exist, i.e. in things that are unrelated or random. It was first described by neurologist Klaus Conrad in 1958 …

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Psychosis, Psychopathy & Other Psych Terms

There’s a lot of overlap in terms used in psychiatry/psychology-speak, and sometimes that can lead to the mistaken association of words that contain some of the same parts but actually mean very different things (like psychosis and psychopathy). This post will break down some of those words and word roots to hopefully add some clarity. …

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What Is... Series (Insights into Psychology)

What Is… Neuroticism

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms. This week’s term is neuroticism. Neuroticism is a personality trait that’s part of the Big Five model of personality. It involves: … the tendency to experience frequent, intense negative emotions associated with a sense of uncontrollability (the perception of inadequate coping) …

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What Is... Series (Insights into Psychology)

What Is… Internal Family Systems Therapy

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms. This week’s term is Internal Family Systems therapy. Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy is a type of psychotherapeutic approach that’s based on the idea that the mind is naturally multiple, and we all have a system of parts. It’s often used …

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What Is... Series (Insights into Psychology)

What Is… an Addictive Personality

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms.  This week’s term is addictive personality. The concept of an addictive personality, although often referred to in pop psychology, is actually less of a thing than you might think. For there to be an addictive personality, that would suggest that there …

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What Is... Series (Insights into Psychology)

What Is… Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms. This week’s term is obsessive compulsive personality disorder. When people say that someone is “a little OCD,” chances are, what they’re referring to has little, if anything, to do with obsessive compulsive disorder. What they’re talking about is far more like …

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What Is... Series (Insights into Psychology)

What Is… The Anal Triad of Personality

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms This week’s term is the anal triad. I originally intended to do this post on stubbornness. I couldn’t find much interesting on that, but it led me to obstinacy, which in turn led to the anal triad. We have Sigmund Freud’s …

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What Is... Series (Insights into Psychology)

What is… the Dark Triad/Tetrad

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms. This week’s term is the dark triad/dark tetrad. The dark triad was first described in a 2002 paper by psychologists Paulhus and Williams, who happen to be researchers at my alma mater. They studied the three most common “offensive yet non-pathological …

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What Is... Series (Insights into Psychology)

What Is… The Psychology of Internet Trolling

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms. This week’s term is online trolling. Of course, we all know what trolling is, and most of us have experienced it. But what underlies it from a psychological perspective? A paper by Coles and West described trolling as “a specific type …

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