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Looking for Explanations of Unfamiliar Words

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  1. A. Read the text, give the English equivalents for the words in brackets, and single out the main items of the income statement.
  2. Add prefix re-. Translate the new words.
  3. B) Substitute the words in italics with the idiom that would fit best in the context.
  4. B. Below is а list of words derived from the same stem. Indicate the parts of speech. Choose а suitable word for each blank in the sentences below.
  5. B. Match the definitions with the italicized words and phrases from the text.
  6. C. Before you read the article, match the following words with their definitions.
  7. Complete the following sentences with the words and expressions from the box. Translate the sentences.
  8. Complete the following text with the words and expressions from the box.
  9. Complete the text by using the words and phrases from the box.
  10. Complete these words. The first letter is given. They are all parts of the body.


Sometimes a writer explains an unfamiliar word for the reader. This is especially true for technical vocabulary, titles and names which cannot be found in a dictionary.   You can find explanations in the following ways: § using the verb ‘to be’. The object following the verb ‘to be’ is frequently used to identify the subject. Introspection is a method of data collection in which observers examine, record, and describe their own internal mental processes and experiences.   § using appositions. A noun or noun group that follows a noun and is set off by commas is called an apposition. It identifies the noun it follows. At the end of the last century, psychology concerned itself mainly with the study of mind and consciousness through introspection, the description of experience. (introspection is the description of experience) James R. Angell, Watson's professor at the University of Chicago, noted as early as 1918 the pressure to shift the focus of psychology from consciousness to behaviour. (James R. Angell was a professor, who worked at the University of Chicago and taught Watson)   § using punctuation. Punctuation marks are sometimes used to set off a word that is being used to identify another word. Some of the punctuation marks you may see used in this way are: commas, dashes – parentheses ( ) brackets [ ] single quotation marks ‘ ’ double quotation marks “ ”.   The colon : is used when an explanation or more information follows. Holt (1967) maintains that many psychologists subscribing to this misconception of natural science are too rigorous, objective and mechanistic (machine-like) in trying to emulate the nomothetic approach.(mechanistic means machine-like)   § using ‘or’. A word or phrase is sometimes identified by a synonym following the word ‘or’ The "GESTALT", the whole, or "pattern", is more than the sum of its parts.(gestalt is a pattern)   § using ‘that is’, ‘i.e.’ and ‘in other words’.These words are used to say what something means or to give more information. Freud used case studies to develop and illustrate a comprehensive theory of personality – that is, of the total, functioning person. (presonality is the total, functioning person)   § using examples. A word or phrase is sometimes identified by examples. These terms often introduce examples: as, like, for example, for instance, e.g., such as Social learning theorists such as Albert Bandura focused on the importance of modeling and imitation in the learning processes. (Albert Bandura is a social learning theorist)   § using referents.Referents are words that refer back to or forward to other words in the sentence or paragraph. Rene Descartes theorized that the body and mind are separate entities. This position became known as dualism.(dualism is the theory that the body and mind are separate entities)

Task 1. [Individually, then pairs]

Study the sentences below. Try to identify the meaning of each of the words in bold type. Underline the clues in the sentence/paragraph which help you to work out the meaning. When you have finished, compare your ideas with those of your partner.


Structuralists used a method called introspection: They asked people to describe what they thought and felt at specific times. (The colon here is used to introduce an explanation of ‘introspection’, so ‘introspection’ is a method in which observers ask people to describe what they thought and felt at specific times )


1. Psychology was predated and somewhat influenced by various pseudoscientific schools of thought—that is, theories that had no scientific foundation.

2. The techniques of reinforcement, or controlled reward and punishment, have become increasingly popular in education.

3. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Viennese physician Franz Joseph Gall developed phrenology, the theory that psychological traits and abilities reside in certain parts of the brain and can be measured by the bumps and indentations in the skull.

4. Structuralism was a system of psychology developed by Edward Bradford Titchener, an American psychologist who studied under Wilhelm Wundt. Structuralists believed that the task of psychology is to identify the basic elements of consciousness in much the same way that physicists break down the basic particles of matter. For example, Titchener identified four elements in the sensation of taste: sweet, sour, salty, and bitter.

5. According to Allport (1937), since all science isnomothetic (i.e. concerned with establishing general laws or principles), and since psychology should be concerned with the study of unique individuals (theidiographic approach), psychology cannot be a science.

6. According to Freud, dreams are disguised expressions of deep, hidden impulses. Thus, as patients recount the conscious manifest content of dreams, the psychoanalyst tries to unmask the underlying latent content—what the dreams really mean.

7. This illusion inspired the Gestalt psychology movement, which was based on the notion that people tend to perceive a well-organized whole or pattern that is different from the sum of isolated sensations.

8. Hippocrates, usually credited as the "father of medicine," lived at roughly the same time as Socrates, and was much interested in physiology (the branch of biology that studies the normal functions of the living organism and its parts).

9. While there is no disagreement about what a watch is or isn't, this cannot be said of personality, which is a hypothetical construct, that is, an abstract term that has no independent existence beyond the mind which constructed it.


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