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group polarization

the tendency for members of a group discussing an issue to move toward a more extreme version of the positions they held before the discussion began. As a result, the group as a whole tends to respond in more extreme ways than one would expect given the sentiments of the individual members prior to deliberation. Polarization is sustained by social comparison (see social comparison theory), by exposure to other members’ relatively extreme responses (see persuasive arguments theory), and by groups’ implicit social decision schemes. See choice shift; risky shift.

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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).