Find over 25,000 psychological definitions

Ganser syndrome

a condition in which psychotic illness is simulated or a dissociated state occurs purportedly as a result of an unconscious effort by the individual to escape from an intolerable situation. It is typically seen in psychiatric hospitals and, historically, in prisons (it is referred to in the older literature as prison psychosis). The most prominent feature is the giving of approximate answers to simple or familiar questions (e.g., “3 + 3 = 7”; “a horse has five legs”). Other features include clouding of consciousness, inattentiveness or drowsiness, conversion symptoms (e.g., conversion paralysis), hallucinations, and, frequently, loss of memory for events subsequent to the episode. The syndrome has been variously categorized as a malingering process, a psychotic disorder, and a consequence of a head injury. Also called pseudodementia. [first described in 1898 by Sigbert Ganser (1853–1931), German psychiatrist]

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

May 26th 2024

metachromatic leukodystrophy

metachromatic leukodystrophy

an autosomal recessive disorder (see recessive allele) characterized by deficiency or absence of the enzyme arylsulfatase A, which results in loss of myelin in the nervous system and accumulation of cerebroside sulfate (a type of myelin lipid) within the white matter of the central nervous system. Loss of motor function and deterioration in mental ability most commonly develop after the 1st year of life (late infantile form), but symptoms may also appear between 3 and 10 years of age (juvenile form) or around age 30 (adult form).