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1. the activation of a memory, which involves the retrieval of a memory by a cue. A retrieval cue that matches information stored in memory results in access to that memory. Cues or conditions that were present when the memory was formed are stored with the memory; therefore, those same conditions need to be reinstated at retrieval to provoke ecphory.

2. the process in which a memory, emotion, or the like is revived in the mind by a stimulus. Also called ecphoria. [defined by German biologist Richard Semon (1859–1918)] —ecphoric adj.

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Psychology term of the day

February 24th 2024

preconscious thinking

preconscious thinking

1. the pictorial, magical, fantasy thinking of children that precedes the development of logical thinking. [introduced in 1938 by Austrian psychoanalyst Otto Fenichel (1897–1946)]

2. in psychoanalytic theory, thinking that takes place at the level of the preconscious. Preconscious thinking has sometimes been cited to explain apparently unconscious, intuitive thought processes, as well as certain kinds of creative leaps and insights.