Find over 25,000 psychological definitions


ecological validity

1. the degree to which results obtained from research or experimentation are representative of conditions in the wider world. For example, psychological research carried out exclusively among university students might have a low ecological validity when applied to the population as a whole. Ecological validity may be threatened by experimenter bias, oversimplification of a real-world situation, or naive sampling strategies that produce an unrepresentative selection of participants. See also validity. [defined by Martin T. Orne on the basis of work by Egon Brunswik]

2. in perception, the degree to which a proximal stimulus (i.e., the stimulus as it impinges on the receptor) covaries with the distal stimulus (i.e., the actual stimulus in the physical environment). [originated by Egon Brunswik]

Browse dictionary by letter

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Psychology term of the day

February 27th 2024

protein metabolism

protein metabolism

all the biochemical reactions involved in the manufacture and breakdown of proteins. The body makes a large variety of complex proteins from amino acids, including enzymes, antibodies, certain hormones (e.g., insulin), and structural proteins, such as keratin, collagen, and the actin and myosin molecules of muscle. Proteins are broken down into their constituent amino acids during the basic turnover of cell proteins as well as for the elimination of toxic peptides and abnormal proteins. In case of severe energy starvation, with depletion of the body’s fat reserves, protein can be broken down to provide carbon to make glucose, but this impairs normal body functions.