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1. the process of creating a visual image in one’s mind (see visual imagery) or mentally rehearsing a planned movement in order to learn skills or enhance performance.

2. in psychotherapy, the intentional formation by a client of mental visual images of a scene or historical incident that may be inhibited or the source of anxiety. The purpose is to bring the visualized scene into the present therapeutic situation where it can be discussed and worked out to reduce its negative implications. See also guided affective imagery.

3. a hypnotic method used to induce or increase relaxation in which the individual is asked to imagine, for example, sitting comfortably at home and then to use all senses in perceiving the scene (e.g., the curtains blowing in the windows, the texture of the armchair). The more fully the individual concentrates on these features, the more deeply relaxed he or she becomes.

4. in consumer psychology, a motivation-research technique using imaginary or fictitious situations or conditions in order to induce consumers to reveal the true reasons for their choice of products. For example, instead of being asked why they like or dislike a product, consumers may be asked to characterize the type of individual they would expect to buy the product. —visualize vb.

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Psychology term of the day

June 19th 2024

social services

social services

1. services provided by government and nongovernment agencies and organizations to improve the social welfare of those in need, including people with low income, illness, or disability; older adults; and children. Services might include health care, insurance, subsidized housing, food subsidies, and the like.

2. government services to improve standards of living for all citizens, including services such as roads and public transportation, clean water, electricity, telecommunications, and public health institutions.