Psychology – A

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abiotic – Pertaining to non-living substances or environmental factors – air, water, soil, minerals along with climate and solar energy. See also: biotic.

anachronism (n) – anything that is appears to be outside its proper time in history. Of the wrong time. Example sentence: ‘it can be argued that its an anachronism in a world where both partners go to work’. Gr: ana (against), chrono (time).

anachronistic (adj) – belonging to an earlier period, out of date, old fashioned.

anthology – a collection of poems or writings by different authors collected together in one book.

Psychology – B

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bacteria (pl.n), bacterium (sin.n) – 1. Very small organism some of which can cause disease known as a pathogen creating toxins which enter the cells and destroy them. Here they will multiply and burst the cell, then find a new cell to enter. Able to mutate every 20 minutes or so. Most are harmless, however. 2. A member of a large group of unicellular microorganisms. Widely distributed in soil, water, air and in or on the tissue of animals and plants. Once classified as part of the plant kingdom, now classified separately as prokaryotes.

They are so promiscuous that biologists cannot even positively identify many of them. Their DNA is shot through with genes borrowed from other species – even other kingdoms of life. Dose them with antibiotics, and they may just depend on a passing virus to grab a handy antibiotic resistance gene.

BCE (Before Common Era) – This and BC (Before Christ) means the same thing – previous to year 1 CE (Common Era). This is the same as year 1 AD (Ano Domini, meaning ‘in the year of the Lord’, ‘in the year of our Lord’).

bioethanol – A biofuel based on alcohol which may be combined with petrol to produce fuel for vehicles. Produced from plants such sugar, cane or maize.

biofuel – A gaseous, liquid or solid form of fuel from a natural source. A fuel derived immediately from living matter as opposed to fossil fuel (typically coal). See also: bioethanol.

biotic – Pertaining to living organisms – plants and animals including microbes. See also: abiotic

braggadocio – Boastful or arrogant behaviour. Vain, empty boasting. A braggart.

Psychology – E

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elegy (plural: elegies) – a poem of serious reflection, of mournfulness or a lament for the dead.

empirical – based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic.

Enlightenment, The – A philosophical and intellectual movement of 18th century Europe that emphasized the use of reason, observation and science, in contrast to the dogmatic beliefs that had previously held sway.

ethnographic – relating to the scientific description of peoples and cultures with their customs, differences and mutual differences. Ethnographic research in European border communities. 

Psychology – G

gene (n) – A unit of heredity which is transferred from a parent (half from mother and half from father – though not the same in brothers or sisters unless they are identical) to an offspring and is held to determine some characteristics of the offspring, composed of DNA forming part of a chromosome. Basic unit of a chromosome which carries instructions in the DNA for one body characteristic.

Psychology – J

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Johnson, Dr Samuel (1709 – 1784) – English philosopher and poet. In 1755 after nine years of work, ‘Samuel’s Dictionary of the English Language’ was published. This has been acclaimed as one of the greatest single achievements of scholarship, being 150 years ahead of the publication of the Oxford English Dictionary! He supposedly quoted that “literature is to enable the reader to better enjoy life or better to endure it”.