a paradigm that elicits spontaneous false memories; associatively related word lists are presented to participants without mentioning a critical related word that is nonetheless subsequently retrieved by many participants


is a denial of humanness to others, we can distinguish two types of dehumanization (Haslam, 2006): animalistic (see Uniquely human) and mechanistic (see Human nature)


is a psychological state in which the self is arguably lost, individual norms fade out, and impulsive, anti-social behavior follows (but see (Postmes & Spears, 1998)


theory in moral philosophy prescribing a set of rules that should always be adhered to, such as the prohibition of murder


the feeling of wanting to have or do something and thus motivates behavior

developmental research

involves the social and mental development of human beings over the course of their life span

developmental reversal

the counterintuitive finding that children perform better, thus make less erroneous statements, than adults 


the ratio of correct to incorrect identification decisions. Specifically, the term refers to the ratio of perpetrator choices (hits) in target-present lineups to innocent suspect choices (false alarms) in target-absent lineups

diffusion of responsibility

responsibility is shared by the number of bystanders; the responsibility felt by the individual is decreased as the number of bystanders increases

direct intergroup contact

involves an “actual face-to-face interaction between members of clearly defined groups” (Pettigrew & Tropp, 2006; p. 754)


prejudicial treatment of an individual based on their membership, or perceived membership, of a certain group or category

is defined here as unjustified harming people because of their membership in a social group


an unpleasant mental state (e.g., sadness, anxiety, loneliness)

distributive fairness judgments

refers to the perceived fairness of resource distributions

divergent production

a term originally used by Guilford (1956) to describe the mental process of generating more than one solution to a given task; today, the expression divergent thinking is more common and its operationalizations are the basis of many modern creativity tests

dizygotic twins

twins who share on average 50% of their DNA, just like other siblings


a molecule which carries the genetic information of all living creatures and is mostly located in the cell nucleus

Synonyms: deoxyribonucleic acid

DNA analysis

during DNA analysis, different sections of the DNA are inspected and in doing so, a characteristic profile can be obtained for every person

doctored video paradigm

researchers record participant’s actions and then edit the video in which fake actions are embedded; in this way, after watching the fake video, participants falsely “remembered” and “believed” that they have performed the fake actions


a term introduced by Csikszentmihalyi (1999) to describe collective information such as ideas, knowledge, behavior patterns, styles, etc; a domain is a symbolic memory for specific aspects of culture


honorifics that were used by the lower nobility

Synonyms: doña

dorsal striatum

part of the brain’s reward system, which is responsible for the control of motivated behavior

downward social comparison

a process whereby people elevate their self-esteem by comparing their group to a lower-status group ( Wills, 1981)

dual-process model

a psychological model that posits two kinds of processes (e.g., implicit v. explicit, automatic v. controlled)

dual-process theory

representing two different modes of thinking: a fast, intuitive and emotional one, and a slow, deliberative and logical one

dual-task paradigm

the dual-task paradigm realizes the simultaneous handling of two component tasks (in comparison to sequential task processing in the task switching paradigm); the typical performance costs (for example: longer response times) during the simultaneous handling of two tasks in comparison to separate single-task processing are called dual-task costs; these costs result from the interference between the component tasks and their coordination (e.g., the regulation of the processing order)

dynamical system

a set of inter-connected elements that change due to their mutual influences; in a mental system, the elements represent thoughts and feelings; in a social system, the elements represent individuals; in an international system, the elements represent nations