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Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development

How do children develop morality and moral reasoning? Kohlberg’s stages of moral development describe a fixed process through which children develop moral reasoning abilities. The stages represent an expansion of an earlier theory of moral reasoning proposed by developmental psychologist Jean Piaget. Kohlberg’s theory suggests that there are six stages of moral development that can …

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Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Explained

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a theory of human motivation suggesting that behaviors are driven by increasingly complex needs. The hierarchy is usually depicted as a pyramid. The most basic needs make up the base, and complex needs are found at the peak. The five levels of the hierarchy of needs are: The purpose of …

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What Is Prosocial Behavior? Meaning and Examples

Prosocial behavior involves actions that are designed to help other people or to benefit society as a whole. Examples of prosocial behaviors include being kind, comforting, generous, or helpful. When people engage in prosocial behaviors, they often do so because they are concerned, compassionate, and empathetic. They want to ensure others have what they need, …

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What Is the Barnum Effect in Psychology?

The Barnum effect is a type of cognitive bias that involves a tendency to believe that vague, general personality descriptions apply specifically and uniquely to them. Horoscopes are a good example of this phenomenon. While each horoscope is general, generic, and can apply to virtually anyone, people often feel like their own horoscope is strangely …

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Big Five Personality Traits: Here’s What You Need to Know

While there have been many different theories of personality, many psychologists today believe that personality is made of five broad dimensions, a notion often referred to as the big five theory of personality or the five-factor model. The Big 5 personality traits the theory describes are: The Big Five Personality Traits We mentioned these big …

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What Is Compassion? Definition, Examples, and Importance

Why do some people choose to give up their time, money, or even safety to help other people? According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 30% of adults in the United States spend some time volunteering to help others each year. According to many psychologists, it is compassion that drives people to reach out and …

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What Is Conformity? Definition and Examples

Conformity involves changing your behavior to align with other people’s behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes. People often conform to blend in with others in their social group. It is a type of social influence that compels people to behave in ways seen as “normal” for that specific group. Researchers define conformity as “aligning one’s attitude, opinion …

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What Is Behaviorism?

Behaviorism is a theory of human psychology that suggests that all behaviors are acquired through conditioning. According to this approach to psychology, it is our interactions with our environments that shape what we learn, who we are, and how we act. Behaviorists believe that people are shaped by their interactions with their environment. They emphasize …

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7 Child Development Theories

Child development theories are focused on understanding and explaining how kids change throughout childhood. Some of these theories focus on the developmental milestones, or specific achievements children reach by a certain age. Others focus on aspects of child development, such as personality, cognition, and moral growth. Psychologists and development researchers have proposed several theories to …

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What Is the Keirsey Temperament Sorter?

The Keirsey Temperament Sorter is a self-inventory personality questionnaire developed by psychologist David Keirsey and introduced in his 1978 book titled Please Understand Me. Keirsey based his assessment on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The Keirsey Temperament Sorter categorizes people into one of four different temperaments: Gaurdian, Artisan, Idealist, and Rational. Each temperament is then …

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Traits of Successful People

What are the personality traits of successful people? Hard work and overall intelligence are obviously important pieces of the puzzle, but that’s clearly not all it takes. Psychologists, educators, and business organizations have invested a great deal in learning to identify who will succeed in certain situations or settings. In fact, many employers have placed …

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What Is Personality Psychology?

Personality psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on understanding different aspects of human personality. It focuses on understanding and describing the unique and enduring patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that make each of us who we are. It’s like trying to unravel the mysteries of what makes people tick. Imagine every person …

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Type C Personality: Definition, Traits, and Strengths

You’ve probably heard of the Type A personality and even Type B. You may be less familiar with a type known as the Type C personality type. People with this type are often analytical and detail-oriented. However, they are also more introverted and prone to experiencing higher levels of stress and anxiety. Type C personality …

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16 MBTI Personality Types

The 16 MBTI personality types are those identified by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. This self-report personality questionnaire suggests that personality comprises four dimensions, corresponding to 16 distinct personality types. What Is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)? The MBTI stands for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The test was developed by writer Katharine Cook Briggs and her …

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28 Inspiring Sigmund Freud Quotes

Sigmund Freud was the famed (and controversial) psychoanalyst who introduced concepts like the Oedipus complex, the ego, the unconscious, and dream interpretation. He was also a prolific writer, publishing literally hundreds of books, essays, and articles during his lifetime. If you want to know more about Freudian thought, exploring some of the many Sigmund Freud …

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What Is the Organismic Valuing Process?

In Carl Rogers’s theory of personality, the organismic valuing process refers to evaluating subjective experiences to determine their possible impact on self-improvement. The concept is rooted in humanistic psychology and Rogers’ client-centered therapy. Essentially, Rogers proposed that people possess an innate tendency to evaluate their lives and experiences based on their own internal, subjective frame …

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20 Famous Psychologists and Their Theories

Some of the most famous psychologists in history made important contributions to understanding the human mind and behavior. Some of these thinkers were also philosophers, educators, and therapists. While some became lightning rods for controversy, all of these thinkers impacted the field of psychology. These famous psychologists made important contributions to understanding how people think, …

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What Is Self-Efficacy?

Self-efficacy is your belief in your ability to succeed in certain situations. Your sense of self-efficacy has a major influence on how you approach challenges and goals. When confronted with a challenge, do you believe that you can succeed? Or are you convinced that you will fail? People with strong self-efficacy are those who believe that …

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