internal validity

The extent to which the results of a research experiment can be attributed to the independent variable under consideration, rather than to some confounding variable, through minimisation of systematic error (bias).

Contrast to external validity.

illusory correlation

When researchers (or the public) assume a relationship exists between variables which occur together, when there is actually no correlation between the variables. The reasons for assuming a relationship between variables can be driven by personal biases, racism, “common sense” or other cognitive biases.

placebo effect

The opposite of the nocebo effect, the placebo effect involves a person’s expectations of the perceived positive effects of medication or other treatments. When a positive effect is expected, the psychological expectations of the individual can bring about even greater positive effects than what would otherwise exist (if any). These effects are assumed to be psychogenic in nature.

nocebo effect

The opposite of the placebo effect, the nocebo effect involves a person’s expectations of the perceived negative effects of medication or other treatments. When a negative effect is expected, the psychological expectations of the individual can bring about even greater negative effects than what would otherwise exist (if any). These effects are assumed to be psychogenic in nature.

Family Scripts

Family scripts are a conceptualisation which can aid therapists in working with families. The idea is that families have accustomed ways of interacting with each other and these shared stories can be woven not only into the fabric of the nuclear family, but can also take place in trans-generational contexts.

Thus, various family members take upon themselves (or have thrust upon them) certain “parts” in the play that is the life of the family. An abusive father may have himself been brutalised and then treats his son in the same way, who then takes the position of his father in this script, when he becomes a father himself.

The idea is that these scripts are unspoken and family members do not consciously know that they are acting a given part in the family drama. Attempts to change the script can cause hostile reactions from other family members, who do not want someone affecting their own roles.

Part of applying family script techniques to family counselling involves the therapist helping the family members understand their roles and coming up with improved ways of understanding and relating to each other.