Use of propaganda against an enemy, supported by whatever military, economic, or political measures are required, and usually intended to demoralize an enemy or to win it over to a different point of view. It has been carried on since ancient times. The conquests of Genghis Khan were aided by expertly planted rumours about large numbers of ferocious Mongol horsemen in his army. Specialized units were a major part of the German and Allied forces in World War II and the U.S. armed forces in the Korean and Vietnam wars. Strategic psychological warfare is mass communications directed to a very large audience or over a considerable expanse of territory; tactical psychological warfare implies a direct connection with combat operations (e.g., the surrender demand). Consolidation psychological warfare consists of messages distributed to the rear of one's own advancing forces for the sake of protecting the line of communications, establishing military government, and carrying out administrative tasks within such a government.
Learn more about psychological warfare with a free trial on Britannica.com.
Use of tests to measure skill, knowledge, intelligence, capacities, or aptitudes and to make predictions about performance. Best known is the IQ test; other tests include achievement tests—designed to evaluate a student's grade or performance level—and personality tests. The latter include both inventory-type (question-and-response) tests and projective tests such as the Rorschach (inkblot) and thematic apperception (picture-theme) tests, which are used by clinical psychologists and psychiatrists to help diagnose mental disorders and by psychotherapists and counselors to help assess their clients. Experimental psychologists routinely devise tests to obtain data on perception, learning, and motivation. Clinical neuropsychologists often use tests to assess cognitive functioning of people with brain injuries. Seealso experimental psychology; psychometrics.
Learn more about psychological testing with a free trial on Britannica.com.
Development of cognitive, emotional, intellectual, and social capabilities and functioning over the course of one's life. It is the subject matter of the discipline of developmental psychology. In infancy, language is acquired, perception, emotion, and memory take shape, and learning and motor skills develop. In childhood, speech emerges, cognitive abilities advance from concrete to abstract operations, emotional responses become more sophisticated, and empathy and moral reasoning begin to be employed. Adolescence is a time of rapid emotional and intellectual growth, while adulthood is characterized by the maturing of all developmental processes.
Learn more about psychological development with a free trial on Britannica.com.
In 1928, Carl Jung published a seminal essay entitled "On Psychic Energy." Later, the theory of psychodynamics and the concept of "psychic energy" was developed further by those such as Alfred Adler and Melanie Klein.