NOTE: APA Dictionary of Psychology, Second Edition is now available.

A Landmark Reference That Defines the Lexicon of Psychology

The American Psychological Association® is proud to announce the publication of an invaluable addition to your reference shelf, one that represents a major scholarly and editorial undertaking. With over 25,000 terms and definitions, the Dictionary encompasses all areas of research and application, and includes coverage of concepts, processes, and therapies across all the major subdisciplines of psychology. Ten years in the making and edited by a distinguished editorial board of nearly 100 psychological scholars, researchers and practitioners, the APA Dictionary of Psychology is destined to become the most authoritative reference of its kind.

The APA Dictionary of Psychology includes

  • 25,000 entries offering clear and authoritative definitions
  • Thousands of incisive cross-references directing the user to synonyms and antonyms, acronyms and abbreviations, and related terms and concepts that deepen the user's understanding of related topics
  • Balanced coverage of over 100 subject areas across the field of psychology including clinical, experimental, neuropsychology, cognitive, personality and social, developmental, health, psychopharmacology, methodology and statistics, and many others
  • Entries include nearly 8,000 terms from the APA's Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms® which helps students and researchers refine their APA database searches (such as the flagship PsycINFO® bibliographic database's 2+ million records)
  • "A Guide to Use" and "Quick Guide to Format" that together explain important stylistic and format features to help readers most effectively use the Dictionary
  • Each of four appendices gathers terms into a thematic summary listing, covering (1) biographies; (2) institutions, associations and organizations; (3) psychological therapies and interventions; and (4) psychological tests and assessment instruments
  • Thumb tabs for locating definitions quickly and easily

Academicians, researchers, clinicians, undergraduates and graduate students, and professionals in allied mental health, education, medicine, and law, as well as academic and public libraries, will find the Dictionary essential.

Table of Contents


Editorial Staff

Guide to the Dictionary

Quick Guide to Format

APA Dictionary of Psychology


  • Biographical Entries
  • Institutional and Organizational Entries
  • Psychological Test and Assessment Instrument Entries
  • Psychotherapy and Psychotherapeutic Approach Entries
Reviews & Awards
  • A Choice Outstanding Academic Title!

A landmark dictionary of psychology that is at once erudite and accessible.

Psychology is a restless discipline with an increasing subtlety of terminology, reflecting the science's evolving insights into the human condition. If you need the definition for Lasthenie de Ferjol syndrome, the Poetzl phenomenon, neoassociationist theory, butyrylcholinesterase, or thousands of other psychological terms, look no further. This is a magisterial reference work, with over 25,000 terms described in language that both practitioners and the general public will appreciate for its clarity. The editors offer concise explanations of concepts, processes and therapies in behavioral psychology, social and cognitive psychology, the neurosciences, sexual disorders and psychopharmacology. They introduce new terms, as well as alternative terms and foreign equivalents. Though they comprise but a scant dozen pages at the end of the volume, the appendices—which cover institutions and organizations in the field, a battery of psychological tests and assessment instruments and a listing of psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic approaches—make the work that much more informative. As in any first-class dictionary, readers will be alerted to irregular forms, sense numbers, cross references, hidden entries, synonyms, etymologies and derived words. Despite its bulk, the dictionary is user-friendly, with a handsome typographic layout, fonts that are easy on the eye and an acceptable amount of white space around the entries. The editors admit that it was 'an awesome task to incorporate as many perspectives in as consistent a form and style as possible.' They met that task with elegance and aplomb.

In a science that has not been know for its clarity of terms, this lexicon is not only welcome, but invaluable.

—Kirkus Discoveries

At several hundred pages longer than other recent dictionaries of psychology, this volume casts a wide net over diverse subject areas within psychology's domain, and related terms from anthropology, computer programming, medicine, molecular and population biology, pharmacology, physics, social services, statistics, and more. Definitions are concise, plain-spoken, and designed to inform without mystifying readers. In fact, it can serve a number of disciplines because of the cross-disciplinary nature of its content…This is a reasonably priced work of great breadth and depth that will be a fine addition to academic and large public libraries.


Read reviews of this title from the PsycCRITIQUES® database
You Can Look It Up (PDF, 29KB)
Twenty-Five Thousand Entries in One Book! (PDF, 37KB)

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