inferiority complex

Acute sense of personal inferiority, often resulting in either timidity or (through overcompensation) exaggerated aggressiveness. Though once a standard psychological concept, particularly among followers of Alfred Adler, it has lost much of its usefulness through imprecise popular misuse.

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Class of substances with chemical structures made up of a central metal atom surrounded by nonmetal atoms or groups of atoms, known as ligands. Examples of coordination compounds include hemoglobin, vitamin B12, and chlorophyll, as well as dyes, pigments, and catalysts. Coordination compounds are used in hydrometallurgical processes for the extraction of metals such as nickel, cobalt, and copper from their ores and in important catalytic processes to bring about polymerization of organic compounds such as polyethylene and polypropylene. Coordination compounds are also used in the analysis of other compounds and in the sequestering of metal ions.

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In psychoanalytic theory, a desire for sexual involvement with the parent of the opposite sex and a sense of rivalry with the parent of the same sex. The term was introduced by Sigmund Freud in his Interpretation of Dreams (1899) and is derived from the mythological Oedipus, who killed his father and married his mother; its female analogue is the Electra complex. Considered a normal stage in the development of children ages three to five, it ends when the child identifies with the parent of the same sex and represses its sexual instincts. Freud believed that the process of overcoming the Oedipus complex gave rise to the superego.

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A complex is a whole that comprehends a number of parts, especially one with interconnected or mutually related parts. It may refer to:

  • Complex (chemistry), also called a "coordination compound" or "metal complex", is a structure consisting of a central atom or molecule weakly connected to surrounding atoms or molecules.
  • Complex (psychology), a group of mental factors that are unconsciously associated by the individual with a particular subject and influence the individual's attitude and behavior.
  • In geology, a complex is an assemblage of different rocks of any age origin that have been folded, intricately mixed, involved, or otherwise complicated, such that the rocks cannot be readily differentiated in mapping.
  • Complex (taxonomy): in the taxonomy of biology is a cluster of species so closely related that they intergrade, can interbreed, and are difficult to firmly distinguish except at the extremes of their ranges




  • A 'mimicry complex' is a group of organisms involved in mimicry, being made of one or more mimics, models and dupes.

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