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general factor

(symbol: g) a hypothetical source of individual differences in general ability, which represents individuals’ abilities to perceive relationships and to derive conclusions from them. The general factor is said to be a basic ability that underlies the performance of different varieties of intellectual tasks, in contrast to specific factors, which are alleged each to be unique to a single task. Even theorists who posit multiple mental abilities have often suggested that a general factor may underlie these (correlated) mental abilities. See two-factor theory. [postulated in 1904 by Charles Spearman]

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Psychology term of the day

May 26th 2024

GABAA receptor

GABAA receptor

one of the two main types of receptor protein that bind the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the other being the GABAB receptorgabab-receptor. It is located at most synapses of most neurons that use GABA as a neurotransmitter. The predominant inhibitory receptor in the central nervous system, it functions as a chloride channel (see ion channel). GABA agonists, such as the barbiturates and benzodiazepines, enhance the binding of GABA to GABAA receptors, allowing for increased conductance of chloride through the ion channel and thereby hyperpolarizing the neuron and inhibiting its activity. GABA antagonists, such as bicuculline and picrotoxin, block the inhibitory effects of GABA at this receptor. Many other substances, including alcohol (ethanol), are thought to exert at least part of their effect via interaction at the GABAA receptor.