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enrichment

n.

1. enhancement or improvement by the addition or augmentation of some desirable property, quality, or component. For example, the Instrumental Enrichment program was originally designed to help pupils with intellectual disability improve their metacognitive and cognitive skills; job enrichment policies are designed to enhance quality of worklife and thus employees’ interest in and attitude toward work tasks; and marriage-enrichment groups are intended to enhance the interpersonal relationships of married couples.

2. the provision of opportunities to increase levels of behavioral or intellectual activity in an otherwise unstimulating (i.e., impoverished) environment. For example, the provision of play materials and opportunities for social contacts has been shown to enhance the development of young children. In laboratory studies of animal behavior, the addition of physical features or task requirements to an environment elicits a more natural behavioral repertoire from the animals. Devices, such as puzzle boxes and complex feeders, are used to reduce boredom and stereotypy. Enriched environments have been shown to induce greater brain neuronal growth and complexity in rats than do standard caging environments. Also called environmental enrichment.

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Psychology term of the day

March 3rd 2024