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  Quality circles:

A type of work group, popular in Japan and the USA, where small groups of employees from the same work areas meet regularly to identify, analyse and solve quality and other work problems.

Quantitative method:

An approach used by psychologists in research studies in order to count quantities and use statistical support in the evaluation of findings.


A category3 of data used in personality assessment, relating to others ratings of a target individual.


The often instinctive way in which the young childs ungrammatical utterances are put into correct grammatical forms by its mother or carer and which aid in the development of the childs language.

Receptive field:

The region of the stimulus that, when stimulated, causes a change in the response of a sensory neurone.

Reciprocal altruism:

In evolutionary psychology, the occurrence of cases of non-human behaviour that are mutually helpful in the sense that the agent cannot gain, or even loses, inclusive fitness as a result of this action.

Reductionist psychology:

a form of psychology which is based upon an examination of phenomena through the study of their individual components; thus, in social psychology, the study of the group through the psychology of the individuals that make up that group.


A particular pattern of behaviour, such as sucking, triggered by a specific stimulus with which all children are born and which plays a crucial part in the overall development of the child in the months before and after birth.


A term used differently by various theorists to describe how a reinforcer serves to increase the likelihood of a particular behaviour happening again.

Retinex theory:

A theory of colour vision proposing that the amount of light in the image is first analysed separately at different wavelengths and that the resulting maps of the image are subsequently compared.


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